After years of strong growth, tech giants Google and Amazon are now giving focus to cost reductions. According to media reports, the departments for voice assistants in both companies are facing layoffs and budget cuts.
At Amazon, Alexa is said to be responsible for around 10 billion annual losses . All attempts to monetise Alexa so far have failed. The Echo products are bestsellers on Amazon, but a subsidised business. The Alexa department had been severely affected by the current round of layoffs of 10,000 employees.
The outlook is not much better in Google land : Google is not currently finding any ways to make money with the Google Assistant. The Assistant doesn’t read any ads, which tends to get in the way of Google’s core business model!
After years of investing in voice search and the corresponding hardware, the economic headwind now seems to be causing the big tech companies to rethink. Voice search will have to prove over the next few years that there is money to be made with it. The way to get there is currently unclear.