Last May, Amazon started paying developers who created skills (Amazon's term for voice apps that run on Alexa) that performed well on its Echo devices. At first, the program only applied to games, before being expanded to encompass the Education & Reference, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Music & Audio, and Productivity categories. Now, it is adding Kids skills to the list.
The company has been less than transparent about the formula it users to determine how much developers get paid. According to Amazon, some developers have earned "tens of thousands of dollars" through the program, and some have earned six figures.
The Alexa platform doesn't allow for advertising, so direct payment from Amazon is the only way that some developers can make money from their skills.