10,000 and Counting – The Useless Skills of Alexa

Amazon’s Alexa based Echo and Dot are selling like hot cakes. However, almost all its users use the smart speakers just for performing few tasks like playing music, seeking weather report or controlling smart home gadgets.

VentureBeat in an article titled Amazon Alexa Hits 10,000 Skills with a Nifty Musical Game says:

With 10,000 skills now, Alexa is becoming more versatile than ever. By adding games like Beat the Intro in addition to its essential functions as a digital assistant and voice-activated Amazon shortcut, it’s becoming entertaining as well as indispensable.

The sharp growth in Alexa based apps can be attributed to Amazon’s decision to allow third-party device makers to embed Alexa in them. However, unless customers use the device either for subscribing something or buying something, neither Amazon nor the device makers are going to make any significant profits. Thus, as of now most of the skills that Alexa has are useless and are seldom utilized. To maintain the momentum of explosive growth in the personal use AI space, both Amazon and third parties need to find ways to monetize it.

Vishal Ingole, March 14, 2017