What does Alexa bring to Amazon?

Amazon’s had the greatest success in the voice assistant race so far, surprising many – including Amazon, you’d imagine.

I have one in my kitchen, used for playing music, a couple of radio stations, the odd podcast (though I find the lack of controls frustrating) and asking the weather before I head out.

All very clever, but how is this of any use to Amazon? That’s the question that Benedict Evans tackles here:

[W]e’ve had two statistics recently from Amazon about Alexa: that 100m units have been sold, and that Amazon has 10,000 people working on it. This is vastly more people than one would normally expect to get the device made and the software working, especially given that the Echos themselves are produced by contract manufacturers. Rather, this is about experimentation and iteration: “what can we do with this and how can we expand the use case?” 

I don’t know the answer to this, but looking forward to seeing Amazon trying to figure it out. There has to be a strategy beyond sticking Alexa in absolutely everything. Or maybe there isn’t?