Most Alexa skills now free to build and host

Thousands of Alexa developers can now build and host most Alexa skills for free using Amazon Web Services (AWS), thanks to a newly released Amazon programme. 

Previously, developers have had at their disposal the AWS Free Tier, offering a million AWS Lambda requests and a total of 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) – monthly, for free. However, exceeding these limits also meant monthly fees. 

Developers with a published Alexa skill can now apply for a $100 AWS promotional credit, and can get another $100 every month, which basically means it’s now free to build and host most of Alexa skills. 

“There is already a large community of incredibly engaged developers building skills for Alexa,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. “Today, we’re excited to announce a new programme that will free up developers to create more robust and unique skills that can take advantage of AWS services. We can’t wait to see what developers create for Alexa.”

 “Developers already know that building for Alexa is free using AWS Free Tier with AWS Lambda, but what they can’t plan for is how successful their skill will be,” said Ryan Kroonenburg, a UK-based Solutions Architect and the founder of A Cloud Guru. 

“This programme not only allows developers to create robust skills that use AWS services without worrying about costs, but also ensures that popular skills that hit more than one million calls per month are cost effective to maintain. It’s a big benefit for the Alexa skill developer community.” 

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