Alexa, which is the built in voice assistant inside products such as Amazon's Echo devices does not have any one-off or monthly costs to use Alexa itself. However, keep in mind that you will need to pay for the device that houses Alexa, it needs a stable WiFi connection at all times to use, and if you want to listen to premium music services, watch Prime or Netflix, order directly from Amazon using Alexa you will need a Amazon Prime account, and so on..
Getting The Most From Your Alexa Voice Assistant
Technically, Amazon Alexa is a free-to-use application and can be downloaded on platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, and Fire OS. But it's not as simple as that.
Amazon Echo devices including the Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Studio come with Alexa enabled by default, however, as we know to buy these products cost money.
Amazon Alexa comes built-in with devices such as Facebook Portal, Samsung Smart TV, and LG ThinQ WK series, but you still need to buy the products.
We can say that in a sense, yes it is free to use Amazon Alexa and download the application onto your device. However, there are many features that only subscribers to certain services can access. To understand why we need to look at what Alexa does, how it works, and how it interacts with things we do.
Remember: Alexa is the voice assistant that has been built into several different devices, with the most known being the Amazon Echo's.
What do I need for Alexa to work?
Alexa requires an Amazon account to work. To create an Amazon account is free but now the cost depends on what you require from your Alexa.
Alexa can be used in a variety of ways, including
- Searching the web
- Catching up on all the latest news
- Organizing your shopping list
- Checking the weather
- Streaming your favorite music
- Having Alexa read your favorite book
- Doing online shopping
- Providing traffic updates
- Setting daily routines
- Setting up a smart ecosystem
- Setting a timer/alarm
The number of skills available on Alexa-enabled devices is constantly growing, but remember that some of these features may require a subscription to a 3rd party service to work, and that is where your monthly costs come in.
Cost per month
The monthly cost is dependent on the features and services that you require. You may have some of these costs already, so it might not impact your financial position at all.
Presuming that you already have a stable wi-fi connection, Alexa doesn't cost anything to surf the web, set alarms, make announcements, and anything else that comes as standard.
So the monthly cost will depend on what you wish to do and whether these features are supported by a third-party service.
Streaming music or video uses a third-party service such as Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Music Unlimited.
The number of services, as well as their costs, can vary. Third-party services aren't limited to just music and video, it can cover many things such as home automation through Philips Hue and Google Nest.
Whilst some of these services are more just product cost, you may find the product manufacturers offer additional services which benefit the product use but end up being an extra monthly cost.
It may be that you already have signed up to most of these services when you bought the original product anyway, and now you're benefitting more from your subscriptions after connecting them to Alexa.
An example for me would be the Nest Doorbell which I've owned for a while, I bought the subscription so that I could see the past few days of footage in high-definition.
Fast forward a few months, I then decided to buy Alexa-enabled devices for several rooms in my home.
I connected my devices to the Nest Doorbell and by using Alexa voice commands, I can instantly view my doorbell camera any time, from several rooms in the house without any additional subscription.
Amazon Prime is another great example of this, perhaps you originally subscribed to Prime for fast one-day delivery, but now with Alexa, you can listen to Amazon Music without advertisements, shop on Amazon through voice commands, track your parcel deliveries, and much more.
We hope this post helped understand how much Alexa is and what it costs per month.
Yes, there is no cost to use Alexa but by buying products and devices you can extend the functionality of Alexa to get a better experience.
Linking Alexa to different third-party services is free, by connecting Alexa through these subscriptions, you can have more of what you love everywhere you go.