Amazon Finally Opens Alexa’s Cash-Generating Features to All Developers

May 3, 2018, 8:14 PM UTC

Amazon, looking to further popularize its Alexa platform with companies and developers, is giving coders new ways to make money.

The online retail giant said Thursday that its developers can now earn cash by building Alexa skills that integrate online subscriptions or specialized content. Skills is the term Amazon uses for Alexa-powered apps.

Additionally, another feature called Amazon Pay for Alexa skills lets people build skills that let people pay for physical goods like concert tickets just by using their voice instead of having to manually enter their credit card information or delivery address each time they want to buy something. The two new features are now available to coders looking to build Alexa skills.

Amazon (AMZN) first detailed these two skills developer initiatives last November, but only a select few companies could participate, likely as a trial for Amazon before it debuted the features to a wider group.

Examples of companies incorporating subscriptions included NBCUniversal’s Syfy Wire skill. Based on the Syfy channel, the Syfy Wire skill lets people subscribe to more science fiction, fantasy, and horror podcasts via their Alexa-powered device, like Amazon’s Echo speakers.

Another skill, a medieval audio game called Yes Sire by mobile gaming company Volley Inc, now lets people play buy expansion packs, Amazon said Thursday.

Using Amazon Pay for Alexa 1-800-Flowers lets people order flowers and other goods and have them delivered just by using their voice via their Alexa device, Amazon said.

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These new features are an example of how the e-commerce giant is trying to grow its burgeoning ecosystem of Alexa-powered skills by luring developers with various incentives. For instance, in March 2017, Amazon said that Alexa developers could apply to obtain $100 in credits that they could then use to purchase cloud computing capacity from Amazon Web Services. In May, Amazon also debuted its Alexa Developers Reward Program, in which the company pays coders for building more popular Alexa skills.

An Amazon spokesperson told Fortune that Amazon has paid “millions of dollars” to developers in 22 countries who have built Alexa skills for the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

Additionally, the spokesperson said that “a select few of the most engaging skills can expect to earn more than $100,000 over the course of a year.”

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