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Amazon have released a preview of its Super Bowl advert and it was aired on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

DeGeneres? I think it’s DeGeneres. Is that how you pronounce it?

Anyway, Amy Stapleton, recent Alexa Champion, (congratulations Amy!) posted something on LinkedIn:

The first point is that Alexa is portrayed as a servant. A low stature servant that just does whatever you tell it to, and the second thing is that there’s no real mention of third-party experiences, third party skills. It’s all first party stuff. Setting timers, turning the lights on turn the heating down stuff like that.

On the first point, totally agree with Amy that it does position Alexa as like a servant, which I don’t agree with it because even though it’s called an assistant, really the assistant needs to be proactive, needs to be trusted.

It needs to be at least at the same kind of social status, even a little bit higher than the user because it needs to be the one that’s organised. The one that’s got things sorted.

If you’re going to trust it to bank on in the future and shop on, it needs to be more than a subservient servant, and the second thing is that it doesn’t really mention much third-party capability. It’s all very much first party stuff, and I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it again.

I don’t know whether, I’m not totally convinced whether Amazon really at this stage cares too much about third-party functionality. I mean, if they’ve got 200 million smart speakers and each one of those smart speakers is being used every single day for setting timers, setting alarms, routines, lights, heating, is that so bad for them?

Obviously third-party experiences, applications, uses and services make the whole platform reach another level and a level that Amazon could never reach themselves because they just couldn’t scale that much development.

But from Amazon’s perspective right now. I think there’d be quite happy to keep selling smart speakers, keep selling Fire Sticks and keep everyone using the first party skills because it’s building habits. It’s building confidence and for Amazon, it’s still engagement.

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