Music Ally has written about ‘in-skill purchases’ before: they’re the equivalent of in-app purchases for the third-party skills created for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. A way for developers to make money from their Alexa skills, in other words, by charging users for extra content or features.

Tech-news site The Information claims that the feature is off to a sluggish start, however: just $1.4m of revenue for Amazon from in-skill purchases in the first 10 months of 2019, which would suggest (given that its cut is 30%) that total spending was a mere $4.7m for that period. Note, these are reported figures rather than confirmed numbers from Amazon.

The company doesn’t appear to be ducking the suggestion that in-skill purchases aren’t yet lucrative, however. “Alexa is a long-term bet for Amazon, and we’re as optimistic as ever about its future. We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible with Alexa,” was its spokesperson’s response.

We’ve written before about there being potential in in-skill purchases for music companies, although there are currently challenges for developers wanting to play music from skills, let alone make money from this. The Information suggested that Amazon is putting renewed energy into “premium content on Alexa” including subscriptions and advertising: there’s even the teaser of possibly ‘partnering with Spotify’ as a prospect for the future.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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