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Businesses Programming

What Amazon's Alexa Economy Pays the People Building Its Skills (cnet.com) 101

From a report on CNET: On a lark, Joel Wilson started developing skills for Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant, this past January. After a few weeks of coding, he launched two skills -- Amazon's term for voice-controlled apps -- called Question of the Day and Three Questions. Both quiz people on science, literature and pop culture trivia. In May, he got an email from Amazon telling him to expect a check in the mail as part of a new program that pays cash to makers of popular skills. That first month, Amazon sent him $2,000. It got better from there. He's received checks for $9,000 over each of the past three months, he said. Wilson unexpectedly joined a new Alexa economy, a small but fast-growing network of independent developers, marketing companies and Alexa tools makers. Two years ago, there wasn't nearly as much to do on Alexa and the market for making Alexa skills was worth a mere $500,000. Now, with more than 25,000 skills available, the market is expected to hit $50 million in 2018, according to analytics firm VoiceLabs.
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What Amazon's Alexa Economy Pays the People Building Its Skills

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    whooooooooo carrrrrrrres

  • Neat! Now you can work for Amazon and get no benefits and really shitty pay! Boy, this American economy is just humming right along...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      $9K/mo is not exactly "shitty pay", mister 1%-er.

      If building skills for Alexa is where the money is, that's where people will go. The phone app ecosystem is overcrowded and hard to stand out. Alexa skills aren't yet: you can still do alright there.

      • by Desler ( 1608317 )

        Don’t worry. It’ll drop a couple of magnitudes soon enough.

    • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @01:10PM (#55809913) Homepage

      That price will drop once the flood of Chinese, India, and Filipinos cash in on the action....perhaps paid in BTC too.

    • Now you can work for Amazon

      He is not "working for Amazon". He is operating an independent business that uses the Amazon Echo platform. He can take the same content and put it on Google Home and Apple HomePod.

      really shitty pay!

      $9k/mo ($108k/yr) for a part time side job is not "shitty pay".

  • This will make me as much money as I already invested in Bitcoins. I will just write a program that will ask both Google and Siri the questions and have them give the answers.
    This I can run 24/7.

    And while we are at it, please be faster with responding to your captcha. My car does not know if it is a car in front of it or a storefront.

  • by mccrew ( 62494 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @01:27PM (#55810033)
    Napoleon D. offers some insight [youtu.be] on the topic of skills.
  • Obviously. But not well. 50M is laughable.

  • by blahbooboo ( 839709 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @02:40PM (#55810563)

    These voice servants just have no real utility for me. Yes, it's exciting to use my voice to turn off my lights, but frankly my remote control I prefer. Guess I just don't understand the joy of asking them for the weather forecast, tell a joke, or read a recipe. I went through a list of top Alexa skills, not one was of any use that I could see...

  • real numbers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Tuesday December 26, 2017 @05:15PM (#55811501)

    It's useful to think about the real numbers here:

    The most successful independent developer CNET interviewed made about $30k off his two skills over a one year period (not a steady $9k/month).

    The low end of independent skill writing was some amazon server credit for two years of work.

    The high end of paid skill writing was $100k for a skill, and that's for the guy who worked on developing Alexa and left to start a company writing skills for companies wanting smart advertisements on the system. The low end of paid skill writing was $300 with a $100/month upkeep fee.

    Much is made of the $9000/month (!!!!) the independent guy brought in briefly, but the best money here is in writing the smart advertisements for a set fee.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Better yet - what is behind the payments?

      It's an important question, because you need to follow the money and why Amazon is doing this.

      And unless Amazon is sticking ads on everyone's unit everytime you use a popular skill, it means Amazon is doing this temporarily and just because you have a popular skill making you money every month, well, Amazon could simply pull the program after deciding they have enough of the things to satisfy users and developers of less popular skills are rounding out the missing pi

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith