In-Skill Purchasing (ISP) refers to any digital content or features that a user can buy within an Alexa Skill experience. ISP has blown the doors of opportunity offered by voice skills wide-open, with brands able to more effectively monetise their voice skills.
Intended as a way of incentivising more businesses to create skills for Alexa (as well as further boosting revenues for Amazon), the ISP model of monetisation was introduced by Amazon in late 2017. After all, while creating a voice skill can be a fantastic branding exercise, many companies wonder how they can get a return on investment.
What types of In-Skill Purchasing are there?
Users can now utilise In-Skill Purchasing to buy digital content or features. There are three types of in-skill purchases you can add to your skill.
The most used ISP format favoured by brands which create a Voice Skill, this is a digital product that doesn’t expire. This could be a game expansion pack or extra characters. An example of this would be the popular Alexa trivia game Question of the Day, where the user can opt to purchase extra Game Packs.
This provides ongoing content or a service. Customers are charged on a recurring basis unless they decide to cancel, similar to the Netflix model. An example of a subscription model is the Sleep Sounds skill. Users that sign up to the paid monthly subscription receive a number of premium benefits, including the ability to mix two sounds together. However, this ISP model is less popular, as Amazon Prime members usually receive a discount on subscriptions, therefore generating more revenue for Amazon through Prime subscriptions and less for the App itself.
This is a purchase that provides content or features that can be purchased, depleted and purchased again. Examples of this would be in-game currency, extra lives or day passes for premium content. An example of a consumable would be Would You Rather? For Family which offers a 7 day pass which grants access to all the premium content offered under their subscription service, but only for 7 days.
How does In-Skill Purchasing work?
In-Skill Purchasing works when users interact with their Amazon Alexa. Skill creators can up-sell premium content to the user. Users can make Payment through their Amazon account, which is linked to Alexa through user authorisation.