From smart speakers to intelligent light bulbs to thermostats, the number of Alexa-enabled devices has been steadily growing Amazon’s public release of the Echo in mid-2015. And it’s no wonder the tech giant is looking for new ways to monetize its success in the smart home market.
Case in point, Amazon recently announced it’s rolling out subscriptions for “premium” Alexa skills. Skills are applications that extend the basic functionalities that come pre-integrated with Alexa, and while Alexa has a ton of functionality out of the box, the real magic happens when you dig into the world of third-party skills.
And now Amazon will allow developers to make money with their third-party Alexa skills. The first skill to get a subscription fee is the Jeopardy! one, so Alexa device owners will be able to access 6 additional clues every day in exchange for a $1.99/month fee.
However, if you are a Prime member, Amazon will let you have access to this premium feature in Jeopardy! free of charge. This is perhaps another way in which the retail giant is trying to attract customers to its Prime service. Yet, the company says that not all future premium skills will necessarily be free for those who are part of the Prime family.
It remains to be seen whether developers will find this option particularly helpful, especially considering how common Amazon Prime subscriptions are and that they are intimately tied to Echo device usage.