Users can interact with Amazon's personal assistant, Alexa, via voice commands, to accomplish anything from music playback to the creation of to-do lists, and more. These capabilities, dubbed Alexa Skills, can be extended with use of the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).
Developers who build Skills can currently take advantage of the free tier for Amazon Web Services. This offers up to 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) compute time per month, along with one million AWS Lambda requests in the same time frame. Lambda is a serverless, event-driven platform, which runs code and automatically manages resources required by the code.
In this particular scenario, if a Skill becomes very popular and therefore exceeds the limits of the free tier, developers incur AWS usage charges. With today's announcement, Amazon seeks to help them out:
Now, developers with a published Alexa skill can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit and can also receive an additional $100 per month in AWS promotional credits if they incur AWS usage charges for their skill – making it free for developers to build and host most Alexa skills.
To qualify for the initial $100 credit (valid 12 months), a developer must have a published Alexa skill by 11:59 PT on the last day of the calendar month, when eligibility is determined. The credit will be received on the 15th of the next month, following the acceptance into the program.