Amazon releases (some) Alexa data

Dive Brief:

  • Although Amazon’s personal digital assistant Alexa is collecting a huge amount of first-party data on its users, the e-commerce giant is only sharing with developers and brands the number of unique users of their content streams and the total number of “utterances” related to their Alexa skills, per reporting by Ad Age.
  • Data services firm Epsilon uses its Data Design consultancy to build Alexa skills for its brand clients.
  • "Epsilon was an early adopter of Amazon Alexa. Over the last 12 months, we've worked closely with Epsilon's Data Design team as they've experimented with and leveraged the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to help solve their client's business needs and make their customer's lives easier," Rob Pulciani, director at Alexa, told Ad Age.

Dive Insight:

Similar to Google’s treasure trove of browsing and search data or Facebook’s access to its users’ interests, relationships and interactions, the first-party data collected by Amazon’s Alexa provides an intimate view into its users and is the most valuable commodity the digital assistant is creating for Amazon. The question is how Amazon will use and monetize that data.

Because the use case for Alexa and related hardware like Echo is so new but also proving to be a big success for Amazon, which is the leader in the space so far, the company may be proceeding slowly as it tries to figure out what the monetization opportunities are. It is clear that Amazon is eyeing a bigger role in advertising and first-party user data like it owns with Alexa is a key part of creating valuable opportunities for advertisers. 

For now, it looks like Amazon is only willing to share the most rudimentary data with marketers and brands, and only sharing data related to branded interactions with Alexa rather than the more detailed user information that could provide deeper insights into behavior and intent. Epsilon’s Data Design group helps bridge that gap by creating skills for brands and combining the data Alexa provides with its own set of consumer information.

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