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Amazon Adds Stimulus to Alexa Efforts on Reward Program Drive

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Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) is firing on all cylinders to expand its footprint in the potential virtual assistant market on the back of improving Alexa skills and increasing number of related apps.

This is evident from the company’s latest strategic move wherein it launched Alexa Developer Rewards program in France, Italy and Spain. Notably, the program which started during 2017 in the United States rewards developers for creating Alexa-enabled top skilled apps in the form of payments.

Courtesy of recent expansion, developers in the above mentioned European nations will be encouraged to innovate robust apps in categories, namely Games, Lifestyle, Productivity, Kids, Health & Fitness, Education & Reference, Food & Drink and Trivia & Accessories.

Evidently, this will help Amazon deliver a better experience to Alexa users in the above-mentioned countries. Further, this will likely enable the software to gain momentum among its adopters and boost its uptake rate to strengthen its market position in Europe.

Growing Global Footprint

The latest move bodes well for the company’s increasing focus on advancing Alexa and will expand its global presence. After the launch of Alexa Developer Rewards program in the United States, it was introduced across Japan, India, Germany and the U.K.

Per a Grand View Research report, the global intelligent virtual assistant market is expected to witness a CAGR of 36.7% between 2018 and 2024. Further, according to Global Market Insights data, this particular space is expected to touch $11.5 billion by 2024.

We believe, Amazon’s fortifying global footprint and Alexa skill set will help it in rapidly penetrate this booming market.

Notably, the Alexa Skills store currently offers more than 80,000 skills created by third-party developers, thereby making it the virtual assistant with the largest number of voice apps.

Intensifying Competition

Although Amazon’s Alexa Developer Rewards program is similar to Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) strategy in which, the latter invites developers across the world to create apps for its iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS and Siri, the former still rules the roost as Apple has no specific reward program for the Siri app developers.

Rewarding developers is like motivating them to build more apps and the latest expansion will help Amazon attract more developers to its platform in the European region.

However, there is Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google, which is the biggest rival of Amazon in the voice assistant market. The search giant also has Google Assistant Developer Community program that prods developers to create actions related to Assistant.

Nevertheless, Amazon’s expanding reward program for app developers is likely to cement its competitive edge against Google and other players like Apple and Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) .

Apart from the reward program under review, the e-commerce giant offers other monetization tools to Alexa app developers such as in-skill purchases, one-time purchases and sales of physical goods, which remain major positives.

Currently, Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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