We could be seeing many more Alexa skills launch shortly, as Amazon is rolling out new incentives for developers today. Aimed at making development of Alexa skills more affordable, Amazon will begin offering Amazon Web Services promotional credit to developers who have already published an Alexa Skill. Amazon says that in a lot of cases, this could make development of new Alexa skills entirely free.
Right now, a lot of Alexa developers utilize the free tier offered by AWS for development and hosting. That tier affords them one million AWS Lambda requests monthly and 750 hours of Amazon EC2 compute time each month. While that’s enough for some, developers who exceed those limits get charged additional fees.
That could potentially make some developers wary of making new Alexa skills, which is not what Amazon wants when it’s trying to grow the platform. With that in mind, Amazon is now inviting developers to apply for credits that can reduce the additional cost once what’s offered by the AWS free tier has been eaten up.
If you’re approved for this program, you’ll receive a $100 AWS promotional credit along with monthly $100 AWS credits when you exceed the limits of the free tier. While some developers could presumably exceed the cost that these credits cover, Amazon says that this will make it free for most developers to build and host new Alexa skills.
If you’ve already published an Alexa skill (which sounds like Amazon’s only requirement), you can apply for the program through this link. Though the number of Alexa skills has been growing at a pretty steady rate, hopefully these new credits mean that we’ll see even more enter development.