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Amazon To Stop Paying Alexa App Developers

Amazon is set to stop paying developers to make apps for its voice-activated digital assistant Alexa.

Bloomberg reported that Amazon has told participants of the Alexa Developer Rewards Program that the payments would end at the end of June.

That brings to an end the practice that was initiated back in 2017 where Amazon invited developers to create apps and would then pay them according to certain guidelines.

“Developers like you have and will play a critical role in the success of Alexa and we appreciate your continued engagement,” said a notice reviewed by Bloomberg.

“These are older programmes launched back in 2017 as a way to help newer developers interested in building skills accelerate their progress,” Amazon spokesperson Lauren Raemhild said in an emailed statement, adding that fewer than 1 per cent of developers were using the soon-to-end programmes. “Today, with over 160,000 skills available for customers and a well-established Alexa developer community, these programmes have run their course, and we decided to sunset them.”

Alongside, Amazon is also shutting down a programme that offered free credits for Alexa developers to power their programmes with Amazon Web Services.

“We created the AWS Promotional Credits for Alexa (APCA) program to encourage developers like you, to build Alexa skills and support your development expenses,” Amazon wrote on its page. “After seven years of running the programme, we will be ending the programme globally on June 30, 2024. This means, after June 30, 2024, you will no longer receive AWS promotional credits from Alexa.”

This isn’t the end of the road for the app developers. Although they will lose out on direct payments, developers can still monetise their efforts with in-app purchases.

Google meanwhile back in 2022 already removed third-party voice apps, encouraging developers to instead add voice capabilities to Android smartphone apps.

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