Amazon Introduces Alexa Skills Monetization in Japan

Amazon announced that it has expanded the option to monetize Alexa skills to Japan late last week. Japan will be only the second country, after the U.S., to allow developers to add in-skill purchasing as an Alexa skill feature.

Alexa skill monetization started in the U.S. back in 2017 with a subscription for the Jeopardy! game skill (which Voicebot was first to report), with other games following soon after. Since then, Amazon has continued to roll out new ways for developers to earn money from the Alexa skills they create, including creating a tool to integrate monetization directly into the skill software. According to Amazon, the number of people using Alexa skills who will pay for premium content or other extras is significant.

Premium Content

Adding in-skill billing enables developers to customize and scale their products for different purchases. Developers can offer one-time or subscription service to users, prompting them with the option when relevant. Developers take a 70 percent cut of in-skill sales, and, once the market is in place, they can add new products, or remove them from the virtual store, with metrics for determining how well different products are selling. Amazon has been encouraging the Alexa programmer community to build with in-skill sales in mind with occasional special deals and promotions for those who include it as a feature.

Global Growth

Seven Alexa skills in Japan now have in-skill products available for purchase. The current line-up includes news magazines, games, and environmental sound apps, with more expected very soon.

Amazon first announced plans for the international expansion of in-skill purchasing to Japan, Germany, and the UK early in May, but had not revealed a schedule for the roll-out. Plans to add further countries after the initial three are also in the works, but Amazon has not unveiled which countries will be next. Based on the success that monetization has had in the U.S., the model is likely to expand beyond the initial countries quickly.


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