How Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant Will Make Money Off You

Description:  Apple, Amazon, and Google say their virtual helpers—Siri, Alexa, and the less snappily named Google Assistant—can make our lives easier by acting on our commands to book cabs, order pizza, or check the weather.

Source: technologyreview.com.com

Date:  May 31, 2016

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 But like all the other free-to-use goodies that tech giants offer up, these new personal assistants must also earn their keep. The companies aren’t saying much about exactly how their automated personas can boost their bottom lines, but they have clear potential to open up new lines of revenue. Perhaps most important, they could significantly increase the data that companies have on our preferences and everyday lives.

“A deeper profile of the customer is possible,” says Sridhar Narayanan, an associate professor of marketing at Stanford. “Already Google and these others have a lot of information about us—this is one new source that is different.” read rest of story

Questions:

1.  What is the revenue model to earn a revenue stream with these virtual assistants?

2.  Which one do you anticipate being the most successful? Why?

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61 thoughts on “How Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant Will Make Money Off You

  1. Megan Thurlow

    All three of the virtual assistants that are embedded into the users hand held devices have promise in generating more revenues. The best way to do this would be through the advertisement model. Users can utilize these helpers to order food, a cab, or even manage tasks. The data that the software collects can be used to personalize advertisements for individuals making them more likely to click on them, or view them. Marketing teams can also take the information collected to market to larger demographics, and discover trends among users.

    I believe that Google Voice command will be the most successful virtual assistant in the long run as Google already dominates the search engine industry. They will be able to take the data gained through the voice command application and integrate it with its current search engine. Although data mining information is extremely useful in the hands of marketers, companies such as Google should be aware of the ethical implications. Consumers may choose not to use the application if they feel their rights are being infringed upon. Nonetheless the already established reputation and trustworthiness of Google’s search engine will provide the company with a large competitive advantage within this industry.

    Reply
  2. Arjan Arends

    The revenue coming from these personal assistants is currently only limited to it being a ‘perk’ of the device you are buying and therefore it is a form of marketing essentially. As such, it could be argued that it is not in a corporation’s best interest to spend time and resources developing them. Perhaps in the future, if there comes a point where we rely on personal assistants or even artificial intelligence then the corporations that are experimenting with them now would have a head-start in this market. As long as Apple sticks to its policy of refusing to mine data, Siri remains nothing more than a nuisance or an ‘app’ that is only useful on occasion.
    I believe that if company policies stay the way they are, Google Assistant would shine through as the most profitable of these personal assistants. Google already can collect and sell data and pairing the vast amount of information it collects on us with a personal virtual assistant could make the program ‘smarter’ and better able to connect with us and understand our needs/desires. The limiting factor for Google however is that it doesn’t own a popular mobile smartphone. Apple has a clear advantage in this field since Siri is simple and easy to access on our iPhones which we use for nearly every aspect of our lives already. If Apple were to mine data and use it to give Siri recommendations then perhaps I would change my opinion about the usefulness of Siri.

    Reply
  3. Blake Furgeson

    Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant have the ability to collect vast amounts of data about those who decide to use them. All of this data collected to be found to be very useful to marketing companies or could be used to connect businesses directly to the consumer through the virtual assistants. This could become very profitable for those who provide the services of the virtual assistants by charging a fee for a business to use the data collected, essentially it would be a similar business model used by Google for its key word search, which is highly profitable. Currently, there is data collected about the consumer’s searches but with the addition of a virtual assistant that data collected about searches online could be combined with the daily activities of each individual consumer which would enhance the marketing strategies of companies or connect the business to the consumer with more ease.
    I anticipate that Google Assistant will be the most successful. Google currently has a business design to market data to connect businesses to consumers, their key word search business. Apple has also gone on record to state that they avoid mining consumer data, so it would be odd for them to turn around and try to profit for this data that they said they wouldn’t collect. Amazon currently has some current advantages in regards to consumer’s shopping habits but it is stated that it might need to come up with partnerships so that makes it difficult for Amazon to be as competitive with Google or Apple.

    Reply
  4. Austin Brady

    The best way to earn revenue from these voice commanded assistants would be through the advertisement model. As mentioned in the article, “Google’s search ads business rakes in billions by aligning the interests of marketers and consumers.” These virtual assistants could present a list services the user is looking for, with companies paying for advertisement at the top. This would be almost identical to what the Google search engine uses now. The incentive for companies to pay for this form of marketing is simply the fact that almost everybody uses a smartphone and has access to a virtual assistant in some form. An additional way they could earn revenue, as suggested in the article, would be through conducting broker- like services. If someone asks their virtual assistant to order them a taxi, the tech companies could charge a fee for every transaction they assist in. Here they would be basically matching buyers and sellers. The tech companies like Apple and Google could also use this feature to sell more of their phones. If the Siri’s and Google Voice Command’s of the world continue to improve and prove to be helpful getting consumers exactly what they want, this will likely create more sales.

    I think the Google Voice Command will prove to be more successful in the long run. They run the most popular search engine in the world, and know how to provide users what they are looking for. Another edge they provide over Apple is that they data mine. Although this technique is ethically questionable, it does provide crazy accurate information on the user. This would lead to better, more personalized virtual assistants.

    Reply
  5. Sam Gleim

    The ‘virtual helpers’ embedded into hand-held devices and other technology aim to use the data and information acquired to gain revenue. The data acquired has information on the consumers’ preferences, tastes, lifestyle, etc. However, because it is only a speech-recognition and language processing software there may be areas of ambiguity and error. Apple, Google, and Amazon can decrease this by digging through other known information to pinpoint meaning. By utilizing this information, the companies can precisely advertise. Due to this foolproof precision, it makes it very easy for these giants to receive a cut of the transaction as a third-party. Another option, is to merely sell the information to other companies/big businesses. However, most companies publicize that they are against data mining, for the most part.
    I believe Siri will be the most successful. Apple is the epitome of cutting edge, technology advancement. Combined with the cult-like following of apple users, and therefore Siri, I believe Apple will revolutionize this specific area of advancement. The fact that they have billions to research and develop this area of opportunity also helps.
    Throughout the entirety of the article, not once does it mention the issue of privacy. I am well aware that the internet and all that accompanies it, for the most part, have provided many benefits to most, if not all, aspects of the globe. However, very few people care to mention the issues that accompany the internet and all its glory. Privacy is a huge issue that is continually being disregarded. These big companies, I feel, are overstepping by watching my every mouse click and now, potentially, listening to every phoneme I utter. Exposed is an understatement.

    Reply
  6. Lina Zhang

    The company profits from virtual personal assistance by coming out with new products. For example, Amazon’s personal assistant called Alexa made the Echo wireless speaker in the late 2014 that costs $200. The speaker can cue up music, order stuff from Amazon, and connect with another device and call an Uber ride for you. These services provided by Alexa with the use of speech recognition. Google will also come out a new product called Google Home which is used to monitor your house when you are not home, with built-in Google Assistance. Virtual personal assistance was not popular in the past, but now days people uses Virtual Personal Assistance every day on their smartphones, tables, or laptops. It is very easy to use, and helps you to get access to lots of information without searching on your own.

    In my opinion, I believe Siri is the most successful virtual personal assistance among all three of them. Personal I have never heard of Amazon brings out a virtual personal assistance-Alexa. Also in North America, I think most people prefer using iPhone over Android phones. I am currently using iPhone, and I think Siri does a great job on searching out a music by hearing the tone of it, or search a restaurant nearby. So, I believe Siri is the most successful and popular personal virtual assistance in North America.

    Reply
  7. Tomara Noga

    The article states that Siri, Alex and Google Assistant don’t produce any real revenue, but rather the revenue comes every time the data is gathered and sold to other companies. This data can range from them finding out what type of restaurants you are most likely to go to, or what stores you like to shop at. This revenue for eg. could be coming from a third party company boosting their name on a list of recommended services. The more a company is chosen from the top of the list, the more likely they are to stay on top and will in turn create a greater demand for their product.

    I honestly don’t know how I would anticipate any of these being very successful. I find these voice assistants more of a nuisance than anything. I completely shut off Siri because it would go off at inconvenient times, and when I did attempt to use it, I would repeat myself numerous times and never get her to perform the function I wanted. I don’t expect any of the other ones will be much better, since they are all a similar concept that makes something sound more convenient but ends up being more hectic and frustrating. One of these companies may end up surprising us by becoming revolutionary, but I think it would have to be something pretty significant and would have to be done in a fast manner to stay on top.

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  8. Evelyn Savolainen

    Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant take in large amounts of data. With the explosion of the use of smartphones as an individual’s computer, the devices can collect all sorts of information about the user. Information such as where a person goes, what they eat, and what they do for fun can all be collected by these virtual assistants. This information is a gold mine to marketing companies. Finding out all of those details about the consumer provides all the information for applications such as advertising, product development, popular locations, and much more. Sites on the internet already collect all sorts of information about how an individual shops. Data from Siri goes more into depth as it sees individuals’ days from start to finish, and patterns that could be tapped in on.
    I can see Siri being the most successful. It is a first-mover, and seemingly everyone has heard of it. I personally have not heard of Alexa, or Google Assistant before. Being in someone’s consideration set is the first step to getting a sale. If I wanted a device with a sophisticated virtual assistant, I would choose one with Siri. Additionally, the IPhone is extremely popular; it has a large loyal customer base which I do not foresee diminishing in the near future.

    Reply
  9. Michael Forster

    These virtual assistants look to make money by making many businesses more accessible to consumers and making a variety of suggestions. This would generate more exposure and ideally sales to businesses, which could lead to businesses compensating virtual assistants for their suggestions. In my opinion this would have to be totally unbiased and based only on other consumer data rather than how much a corporation is paying for wide range exposure.
    I think that Google Assistant would have the most staying power and effectiveness in the market over time. Google has a massive database already due to their search engine data and this can only benefit them and give them an edge over the competition. Google is often trusted over other search engines, so why wouldn’t it be the same in this new age of virtual assistants?It is better to be able to text search and evaluate options in messaging as well, something that in my personal opinion has been painful while using Siri. It is not always convenient to speak, and I still often find myself simply using google. For these reasons I think Google Assistant has an edge on its competitors.

    Reply

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