Amazon Lures Alexa Developers With AWS Freebies For More Alexa Skills: How It Works


Amazon found a new way to attract more Alexa developers, offering Amazon Web Services cloud computing freebies to make it more worthwhile.

For most developers, it's rather tough to monetize the apps they make for Amazon Alexa. To help with the process, Amazon is now offering some freebies to developers so they have more incentives to build additional Alexa skills.

With that in mind, Amazon just announced that Alexa developers can apply for a $100 promotional credit and an additional $100 in monthly credits that they can put toward their usage of AWS cloud computing services.

"There is already a large community of incredibly engaged developers building skills for Alexa," says Steve Rabuchin, Amazon Alexa vice president. "Today, we're excited to announce a new program that will free up developers to create more robust and unique skills that can take advantage of AWS services. We can't wait to see what developers create for Alexa."

Amazon Alexa AWS Program: How It Works

As Amazon points out, tens of thousands of developers creating skills for Alexa use AWS to build and host their Alexa skills. Many of those developers are relying on the AWS Free Tier, which only offers a limited amount of AWS Lambda requests and Amazon EC2 compute time per month. Once they reach the monthly limit, developers may incur charges if they want to keep using AWS for their Alexa skills, but the new program aims to address this issue.

The new freebie program aims to take some of that financial burden to encourage developers to build more Alexa skills. Developers can now apply for an AWS promotional credit of $100, as well as an additional $100 monthly AWS credit if they incur AWS usage charges for their Alexa Skill. To take advantage of this offer, developers must have a published Alexa skill.

Eligible developers will receive the initial $100 AWS credit via email on or around the 15th of the following month, and it will be valid for a year. The monthly promotional credits come into play when eligible developers exceed the limitations of the AWS Free Usage Tier.

"Each month you have an AWS usage charge you'll receive another $100 AWS promotional credit to be used toward your skill during the following month," Amazon explains.

With the promotional credit and the monthly credits designed to cover additional costs, Amazon says it's virtually allowing developers to build and host most Alexa skills free of charge.

More Alexa Skills

This new program marks the latest collaboration between Amazon's AWS and Alexa teams and should further drive development of new skills for the voice-enabled virtual assistant. Alexa has already seen an impressive growth as more skills enabled more functionality and perks, and it's constantly getting smarter.

The smart assistant is among the highlights of the Amazon Echo line of smart speakers, and the diverse pool of Alexa skills played a major role in the gadgets' success.

The additional incentives should translate to even more Alexa skills joining the fray, and it will be interesting to see what developers come up with next. Amazon doesn't mention when this program will end, but a company spokesperson tells Recode that there's no specific expiration date set yet.

For more information on how this program works or to apply for AWS credits for Alexa skills, head over to Amazon's dedicated webpage for the promotion.

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