Amazon Alexa skill growth isn’t limited to the U.S. Alexa skill totals in the UK and Germany have grown 22% and 52% respectively over the past four months. Total Alexa skills in the UK are now 8,484 and in the Germany they have grown to 2,742.
Why the UK Lags India in Alexa Skill Totals
The new data mean the UK Alexa skill total is only 35% of the U.S. That is easily understood given the device was released in England two years after the U.S. The growth is very strong in the UK, but it is surprising that more U.S.-based skills haven’t yet been localized for the country. Amazon doesn’t require this proactive localization for new English-speaking markets, but did when Alexa first entered the UK market. When Alexa was launched in India in October, Amazon’s Amit Jotwani boasted of having over 10,000 skills available to users at launch. That was because thousands of U.S. developers overnight found that their skills were suddenly available to users in India. It will be interesting to see if the UK gets the same privilege at some point.
German Skills Grow Quickly Despite Headwinds
Germany may only have 11% of total Alexa skills compared to the U.S. but these are all in another language and support a smaller market. Google’s Dialogflow is making it easier for developers to port their skills to new languages. However, English-language Alexa skill developers need to essentially start over to support the German market. Onsei’s Leon Müller commented in a Voicebot interview in 2017:
“When we did our first skill in English, we thought we would just translate it and be done. But that wasn’t right. We had to deal with complex grammar rules.”
So, don’t expect German-speakers to get a quick injection of 10,000 Alexa skills anytime soon. However, nearly 3,000 Alexa skills is a very good start as is a 52% four-month growth rate.