Amazon Brings Alexa Developer Rewards Program to Australia and New Zealand
Amazon is extending the Alexa Developer Rewards program to Australia and New Zealand. Developers in both countries can now earn cash directly from the tech giant for creating popular apps for the voice assistant.
The Alexa Developer Rewards program measures engagement with a skill in a country’s Alexa skill store. The developers for those that rank the highest in use and engagement are eligible for a check every month from Amazon as a way of encouraging developers to continue to build and update their voice apps and to put them on the Alexa store. The exact amount they can make varies depending on an unknown formula. While the program is too new in Australia to know how much developers are being paid, leading skills in the U.S. have from up to $5,000 a month, down to as little as a few dollars.
Only eight of the 22 Alexa skill categories are eligible for the program. When the program first began in the U.S. three years ago this month, only the games category was eligible. After several months, other categories. Were added and Australia and New Zealand developers can now be part of the program with skills in:
- Education & Reference
- Food & Drink
- Games, Trivia & Accessories
- Health & Fitness
- Music & Audio
The program now works across national borders in most cases. That means a developer in Australia or New Zealand can earn money from having a popular app in another country as well. Apps in Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, the U.S., and the United Kingdom can all earn money from the program for their developers. The only exception is India, where the program only applies to Indian app developers and the Indian Alexa skill store.
“We evaluate customer engagement and determine skill rewards on a monthly basis. You can increase customer engagement and potentially earn more rewards by improving your existing skills and publishing new ones,” Amazon wrote in their announcement. “To date, the Alexa Developer Rewards program has paid millions of dollars to developers in more than 20 countries.”
Bringing the Alexa Developer Rewards program to Australia and New Zealand makes sense for Amazon if it wants to score a bigger share of the voice assistant market there. Voicebot’s report last year found that Google smart speakers and smart displays had captured by far the largest share of the Australian market in particular. Google Home accounted for nearly 70% of smart speakers compared to the Amazon Echo at 14% while the Google Home Hub had 41.5% of the smart display market, and the Echo Show had 13.2%. Of course, a lot can change in a year, but Australians were very quick to adopt smart speakers, and convincing people to switch brands can be tough. Amazon may hope that setting up the reward program could add and enhance the skills of the Australian and New Zealand Alexa store enough to entice some new customers.