Quick Bytes – May 4th: Alexa Opens Up to Third-Party Developers
A look at the most interesting startup and business-related news stories of the week.
Alexa Opens Up To Developers
Technically, Alexa was already open to third-party developers, over 40,000 skills have been created by them. But, before now, there was no way to make money off them. From now, all Alexa skills will still be free to use, but one-time in-skill purchases can be bought, which will open up new or extra content for users. Additionally, Amazon Pay will allow third-party developers access to it’s voice-activated e-commerce platform. Amazon’s monetization is not attempting to be the iTunes store, it’s slowly finding ways to reward developers for creating skills without relinquishing control to the market.
The Full Story
Amazon offers over 40,000 Alexa skills from third-party developers, but nearly all of them have one thing in common: they’re free, leaving developers without a way to make money off them. That’s changing today: Amazon finally opening up the smart assistant to anyone to sell one-time in-skill purchases that can expand what a skill can do, along with the addition of Amazon’s own payment system for purchasing physical goods.
The first addition is in-skill purchases, which work almost exactly like in-app purchases for smartphone apps. Developers will be able to offer either one-time purchases to unlock new content or ongoing subscriptions that enhance the skill. Developers get 70 percent of revenue from the in-skill purchase, and Amazon is ensuring that Prime members will always get some sort of extra benefits here, whether that be discounted prices or early access to new features. Amazon had previously opened up in-skill purchases to several developers, including Sony, The Ellen Show, and TuneIn, but today marks the first time that it’s generally available. Read the Full Article Here
Elon Musk & What Not To Do…
…on an earnings call. Tesla’s stock took a sharp downwards turn after Musk found an analyst’s questions around Model 3 reservations, ‘…so dry. They’re killing me.’ A question on capital requirements was described as a ‘boring, bone-head question’. The company showed record losses as well as record revenues, and expects to be profitable in Q3 2018. Tesla’s stocks are often volatile, but this time, it was clearly due to Musk’s unconventional ways. While these are often heralded with Tesla’s success, with so many unimpressed investors, analysts and huge dollars on the line, Musk is walking that line between genius and liability.
The Full Story
Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call took a strange turn on Wednesday when CEO Elon Musk grew tired of taking analyst questions and instead threw it to a YouTuber and Tesla shareholder who had been granted access to the call.
“We’re going to go to YouTube. Sorry. These questions are so dry. They’re killing me,” Musk said to one analyst.
That analyst, Joseph Spak of RBC, asked about Model 3 reservations. As a reminder, the Model 3 is a critical mile-marker for Tesla’s shift to a mass market automaker.
“The first question is related to the Model 3 reservations, and I was just wondering if you gave us a gauge as maybe some of the impact that the news has had. Like, of the reservations that actually opened and made available to configure, can you let us know, like, what percentage have actually taken the step to configure?” Read the Full Article Here
Crypto as an Investment
With so much changing information and misinformation, it seems like an impossible feat to look at how cryptocurrency stacks up against other investments. This article is one of the most understandable we’ve seen so far. It looks at returns across investment classes, market value and liquidity, as well as how assets affect each other. A good weekend read that puts the focus on reviewing the market, not the hype.
The Full Story
The crypto fever has quieted down, but the roller-coaster trading has raised the stakes for investors to figure it out.
Are they financial assets, currencies, commodities or something entirely new? Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have defied easy categorization since they burst into the public consciousness last year, fueling an intense debate over how they should fit into the average investor’s portfolio—and whether they belong at all.
However you define them, cryptocurrencies have become hard to ignore since Bitcoin’s meteoric rise to $20,000 last December (as of May 2, it’s now $9,145 after a recent selloff). While past performance is of course no guarantee of future results, we’ve analyzed the last 16 months of action in digital tokens to shed light on what to expect if—as crypto diehards say—you decide to HODL (hold) despite the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Read the Full Article Here
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