Amazon May Start Charging Users for Certain Alexa Services


Amazon may begin charging users to access some of Alexa’s more exclusive features. According to Business Insider, the company is planning to debut a revitalized, subscription-based version of its voice assistant. It will be called Alexa Plus, and is currently scheduled to hit the market on June 30.

Alexa Plus will offer users a more personalized experience, with a more conversational interface and more finely-honed responses and suggestions for users. The exact features have yet to be unveiled, and preliminary reporting suggests Amazon itself isn’t entirely sure of what they are yet.

Around 15,000 people are currently testing the Alexa Plus technology. However, these trials have determined that the quality of Alexa’s answers aren’t up to par. The responses have also reportedly been found to frequently contain inaccurate information.

Alexa Plus is Amazon’s bid to wring revenue from its Alexa devices, which like other voice assistants have been experiencing a tough time lately. The company is aiming to compete with highly advanced voice assistant services such as ChatGPT. The astonishingly swift development of those platforms has left Alexa, once the cutting edge of the technology, looking antiquated and comparatively useless.

According to high-ranking sources at Amazon, the Alexa Plus subscription model is the company’s last-ditch effort to wring a profit from the devices. “If this fails to get revenue, Alexa is in trouble,” an anonymous source told Business Insider.

The outlet (via arsTechnica) projected Alexa would lose Amazon $10 billion in 2022, and last year the company laid off a number of workers in their voice assistant division.

Although Amazon might be struggling to turn a profit on Alexa, consumers love their devices. A recent study showed that people who own an Alexa view them as fellow humans rather than pieces of technology.

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