Amazon Brings Alexa In-Skill Purchasing to Canada
Amazon has extended the In-skill Purchasing (ISP) feature to Canada. Alexa skill developers publishing in Canada can now start selling digital content and other premiums to users from within their voice apps, splitting the revenue with Amazon based on how much they earn a year.
The in-skill purchasing option allows developers to augment their voice apps with custom bonuses available by asking Alexa to pay for them. Developers can set up the digital market with both subscriptions and one-time purchases to fit the content available. For instance, buying more levels to a voice game is probably a one-time purchase, but access to an informational app might be available as a monthly subscription. Once the virtual store is set up, developers can adjust the inventory and add or remove items as they choose. Canada has been a long-expected addition to in-skill purchasing availability and follows Japan, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the UK.
“Revenue from ISPs has allowed us to hire five new salaried employees over the past year to reinvest into content creation, branding, and product expansion,” Sleep Jar CEO Nick Schwab said. “These include sounds at HD audio quality, sounds without any gaps for as long as ten hours and giving customers the ability to mix and match their favorite sounds. We couldn’t be more thrilled to enable our Canadian users to start enjoying these experiences!”
Amazon took a 30% cut of the revenue from in-skill purchases when it first became available in the U.S. in 2017. The tech giant unveiled plans to give a shift the split in favor of the developers by 10% in December as part of the Alexa Skill Developer Accelerator Program. The change only applies to developers bringing in less than $1 million a year, however. The updated business model also came with new ways for developers to capture traffic and boost the visibility of their skills, which Amazon claims is worth as much as another 10% in potential revenue.
That was only the newest addition to Amazon’s efforts to monetize Alexa, following improvements like integrating monetization into the skill development software. The Paid Skills option for developers to sell a skill upfront joined in-skill purchasing and subscriptions as a new revenue stream last year, around when Alexa Hosted Skills mostly removed the hosting fees developers needed to pay to support their Alexa skills. Skill makers can even add in-skill purchases for products sold on Amazon with the Alexa Shopping Actions.