I love my Amazon Echo. Somehow I can never find my phone. "Alexa, Find my phone" always comes to the rescue. When I am not driving, "Alexa, play KWMU," , KABC, KDEF, KXYZ, etc. is the only way I listen to the radio . However, Amazon has announced mass layoffs of 10,000 people with a large share coming from the Worldwide Digital division that houses Alexa. Although the Echo device line is one of the best selling items on Amazon and Amazon reports a billion with a "B" interactions per week on Alexa, Amazon is losing serious money in this division.
Amazon is unable to monetize the handy device. "Alexa. What is the weather?" is a much less profitable interaction than making any purchase. Also, it's unquestionably a lot simpler because there is no learning curve, no set-up, and no preconditions. For example, to make a purchase on Alexa, you must first be an Amazon Prime subscriber.
Monetizing AlexaRead More.
Presumaby, there is a way to monetize Alexa purchases, but it has not worked out so far for Amazon. As one Amazon insider is quoted as saying, Alexa is a "colossal failure in imagination." However, I don't blame the Alexa product engineers since I, myself, can't see the value of telling Alexa to add a fleece jacket to my cart and then being invited by Alexa, to open the app and review my cart to verify the selection. There are very few purchases that I would just go ahead and confirm without further inspection. Not to mention reading the reviews.
Fewer improvements in the future
With huge cuts to the Alexa team, we will likely see a drop in innovation for Alexa skills, such as setting the temperature on the furnace, turning out the lights, or other conveniences that fail to earn money for Amazon once you have purchased the Echo device. Although Alexa may be a money loser for Amazon, it's still very handy for most of us users, as are many other voice activated apps. I would hate to go back to sending texts where I had to "thumb" in all the text.