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Steve A avatar image
Steve A asked ·

Skills Monetization: Request clarification

(Reposting this because it got lost in the new forums shuffle and it wasn't answered....)

There are lots of ways to make the following two statements by memo@amazon and amelia@amazon consistent. But there are just as many ways to read them that render them inconsistent. Could we get an official clarification on this?

1. Amelia@amazon

"Summary: All skills are free to customers, and do not yet support in app purchasing."

Keywords: monetization, purchasing, price KB_0017

2. Memo@Amazon

"...developers are free to monetize their skills...but you have to make sure to check the box Jo mentioned when submitting for certification. "

alexa skills kitcertificationmonetization
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Sanyu avatar image
Sanyu answered ·

Agree that the posts you mention are difficult to reconcile, and apologize for any confusion.

At this time, the Alexa Skills Kit does not have any built in monetization capability, so we do not permit paid skills or in-skill purchasing. However, we do permit monetization of skills in limited circumstances, where the skill uses account linking, the payment is being transacted through a payment instrument on that linked account, and the skill allows customers to order services that are sold by the developer outside of Alexa.

We know that developers are anxious to begin monetizing skills and we are actively working to build functionality and safeguards that would allow developers to monetize skills more broadly.

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It's worth remembering that ongoing support for a skill, while not expensive, is going to cost something. Even if you develop one out of shear altruism or for the programming street cred, those AWS bills are still going to arrive.

Does Amazon sub some of the bill, for example do the lambda's get transferred to an Amazon account when certified?

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The lambdas are not transferred. However via this program you can apply to get up $100 of AWS promotoinal credits a month if you have a live skill! More details can be found here: https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/alexa-aws-credits

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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered ·

My reading has always been that "do not yet support in app purchasing" means that they don't give any support for it. I.e. all the wonderful libraries and tools that are available to mobile developers are not available to Alexa developers.

And that "developers are free to monetize their skills" means that if you are willing to do all the work necessary to authorize credit cards, provide refunds, and so forth, you are welcome to do so.

But it would be nice to have that officially clarified, as you request.

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Right...that would make sense. But there are so many other ways to understand how they are compatible, e.g., you can't charge for skills in any way at all, but you can "monetize" your skill by selling t-shirts with the name of your skill on it (to take a far-fetched one.)

Even clarification of the tension between the two clauses of Amelia's post would be nice.

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newuser-bc74e6ea-c552-496b-9162-f95afe289ac1 answered ·

Check out Instreamatic.AI where we provide all-in-one solution for Skill monetization with interactive voice ads. You can also grow your audience using our platform.

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Andres Pineda avatar image
Andres Pineda answered ·

Has there been any more details on the monetization of Alexa skills? I am interpreting Sanyu's comment "where the skill uses account linking, the payment is being transacted through a payment instrument on that linked account, and the skill allows customers to order services that are sold by the developer outside of Alexa." to mean that we can charge a fee for a service as long as:

1. The Alexa skill uses Account Linking

2. The payment processing is "outside" of the Alexa Skill code (e.g. done in securely linked middleware outside of the skill itself).

3. The services being rendered comply with the stated policies (legal and not porn,etc).

So in essence, I can write a "free" skill that anyone can use, but for some features, it would require account linking to a separate application that conducts service for a fee. The Alexa Skill would just provide the voice interface to a shopping cart, for example.

Please let me know if there is any posted policy from Amazon regarding this issue since July 2016.

Thanks!

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