Amazon Launches $25K Alexa Skills Challenge for In-Skill Purchasing
Amazon has announced its latest Alexa Skills Challenge, this time focusing on in-skill purchasing. Competitors will have a chance to win up to $25,000 for their creations.
Premium Content Contest
The Alexa Skills Challenge: In-Skill Purchasing (ISP) is looking for ideas designed to entice people to pay for premium content on an Alexa Skill. ISPs can vary widely in what they offer and are usually variations on recurring subscription services or one-time purchases. Currently, only the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan support in-skill purchasing in their Alexa stores, but Amazon has said there are plans in the works to expand the option to other countries.
Amazon will pick 10 finalists among the entries who will be invited to Amazon’s headquarters for the final contest. The four finalists in the countries that support ISP will receive $10,000 each and the six other finalists will earn $5,000 each. The winner chosen from among the finalists will win another $15,000 in prizes. Every entrant will get a $50 Amazon gift card. Contestants have until November 12 to submit their entries and the finalist summit will happen in January, 2020.
Along with the main prizes, there are several bonus prizes available. The winners of the Premium Game, Agency-Developed Premium Experience, One-Time Purchase, Subscription Product, Consumable Product, and Multimodal Experience will win $3,000.
The Value of Premium Content
Premium content is a potential source of a lot of income for both developers and Amazon. Amazon takes a 30 percent cut of all purchases, and developers can track the sales rate of their products and adjust accordingly. Since starting the ISP program in the U.S. about two years ago, Amazon has been trying to streamline the system, including integrating monetization into the skill development software. There aren’t published metrics of how much money premium content is bringing in, but Amazon has made a point of bragging about some of the skills that have brought in significant amounts.
To encourage developers to make Alexa skills with a virtual store in the U.S., Amazon has regularly offered special deals and promotions to those who include in-skill purchases as an option. The ISP promotions and the contest all fit into Amazon’s larger strategy of building out its developer community and the number of skills available on Alexa. Amazon wants to do everything it can to shape the future of voice assistant platforms, and the new contest will connect the company more directly to some of the developers doing just that.
You can learn more about the contest rules and register to participate at Devpost.