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Amazon Echo Show devices will soon display ads for Alexa skills and apps

Amazon Echo Show 8 White
(Image credit: Amazon)

Update (July 26, 6:45 pm ET): Amazon has confirmed that it's launching promoted skills for developers in the future.

What you need to know

  • Amazon appears to be planning to sell Echo Show ads to developers.
  • The ads are apparently intended to promote apps and Alexa skills.
  • These pop-up ads will appear on Amazon's Echo Show line of devices.

Amazon is apparently preparing to shove ads onto your Echo Show devices to promote Alexa skills and apps from developers, Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports, signaling the company's desire to make more money from its smart displays.

The report says Amazon is calling on developers to advertise their apps on Alexa devices through pop-ups. More than just finding a new revenue stream, Amazon wants to keep developers interested in the platform by helping them entice more eyeballs.

With the current volume of apps available for Alexa, developers are finding it hard to convince consumers to use smart displays more often than their mobile devices. As a result, they're spending more time developing apps for smartphones, and Amazon appears to be trying to lure some of that attention into its ecosystem.

Android Central has reached out to Amazon for comment. In a statement to Bloomberg, Amazon vice president Aaron Rubenson, who oversees developer tools, said that paid ads are “something that developers have asked us for." 

Bloomberg notes that Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem still pales in comparison to Google's massive app ecosystem on Android phones. As a result, consumers are struggling to find plenty of apps on smart displays the way they do on smartphones. It's one of the major impediments to developers investing heavily in smart displays.

Amazon views pop-up ads as a way to retain developers' interest as opposed to creating a streamlined method of consistently promoting Alexa skills to users. While developers will have to spend their own money in order to advertise their apps, Amazon is also offering a higher incentive in return. The company is reportedly offering developers an 80% cut of in-app purchases and subscriptions, a marked increase from 70% currently. 

However, this is only possible for transactions totaling less than $1 million. Developers may also receive a 10% cash rebate and ad credits, with more perks coming down the road.

It remains to be seen, though, whether the planned strategy will help boost user engagement with Alexa smart displays, never mind that they paid for these devices in the first place.

Update

An Amazon representative has confirmed to Android Central that the company plans to introduce promoted skills in the future. The goal is to help developers advertise their Alexa skills on Echo Show home screens. 

Developers will be able to start creating promotional campaigns later this year. To gauge how well their ads are reaching consumers, Amazon will provide a dashboard where they can view performance and attribution metrics updated every day.


Jay Bonggolto
Jay Bonggolto

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.