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Amazon isn’t allowing ads on Alexa just yet

January 29, 2018

But the e-commerce giant is wrestling with how to let third-party firms make money off of software designed for its virtual assistant.

Background: Earlier this year, CNBC reported that Amazon was working out how it could run ads on its Alexa voice assistant.

Now: The Information ($) reports that the firm denied Sony’s request to run ads on its Jeopardy app (sorry, “skill”) for Alexa. The e-tailer told Sony that ads would put people off playing.

The case for ads: Developers don’t make any money from Alexa skills currently, because they’re free to install. Ads could change that.

The case against: The user experience of a voice assistant with ads would, to put it bluntly, be dreadful. And Amazon says it wants using Alexa to be "a delightful experience."

What next: The Information says Amazon will experiment with premium skills, where users pay a few dollars for specific features. That may appease developers—for a while, at least.

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