Definition

Voice ‘skills’ are essentially ‘apps’ for voice assistants. With voice assistants becoming increasingly ubiquitous, these skills are a great way for brands to engage with customers, encouraging brand loyalty and awareness, as well as being an opportunity for new revenue streams through subscriptions or in-skill purchases.

Most people have now used voice to access the internet at some point. Typically, this is through a voice assistant on a smartphone, such as Siri on an iPhone, or through a smart speaker in the home, such as Alexa on the Amazon Echo. However, voice assistants are also embedded in more and more devices, such as headphones, TV remote controls, cars and even an Alexa toilet.

There are now over 60,000 Alexa skills available to US users (the biggest market for voice skills), and over 4,000 Google Home actions. These cover a huge range of functions: from finding recipes, sports scores and public transport times, to controlling your robot vacuum cleaner, ordering a pizza and finding your phone, through to playing games, radio and sleep sounds, and everything in between.