Amazon Luring Game Developers to Alexa with New Consumable Virtual Goods APIs

A strategic priority for Amazon is growing the Alexa ecosystem. An important component of that strategy is attracting high quality skill developers to create compelling content for Alexa customers. Key to attracting developers is providing attractive monetization opportunities for skills to not only be engaging but also generate revenue. The Alexa team recently added some new monetization opportunities to that end with the launch of consumables.

Consumable virtual goods are fundamental to game developers who want to monetize via the freemium model. Under the freemium model, it’s free for customers to play the game, but players can enhance and advance gameplay more quickly through the use of items that must be purchased, and then used/depleted, and then purchased again. This has worked well for mobile and social game developers since it allows customers to make small purchases incrementally. Some customers end up buying a lot and are known as whales.

Previously, Alexa In-Skill Purchasing APIs allowed developers to monetize through subscriptions (recurring purchases that provide ongoing access to content) and entitlements (one-time purchases that do not expire).

One important note for developers – consumable prices must be in the range of $0.99 to $9.99. Subscription and entitlement prices can range from $0.99 to $99.99. So the consumable max is 90% less than other types of purchases.

Game development on Alexa is nascent, with most games falling into the quiz category. However, we have seen some early strategy games crop up, in addition to several social games designed to be played by groups together.

Stay tuned to TJI for the latest on the Alexa Skill monetization market.

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