Luminary Becomes First Podcast Service to Sell Subscriptions via Amazon Alexa

Premium podcast service Luminary has started to enlist Amazon’s Alexa to facilitate subscription sales: Owners of Amazon’s Echo smart speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices can now subscribe to the service with a simple voice command, Luminary announced Tuesday morning.

Consumers can start accessing the service’s premium catalog simply by saying “Alexa, subscribe to Luminary.” Alternatively, they can also test out the service for free for a limited time by saying “Alexa, start my free Luminary trial.”

Luminary launched as a podcast subscription service in March. For roughly $8 a month, the company gives consumers access to exclusive podcasts from Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah, NPR’s Guy Raz, Omari Hardwick and others.

The company said Tuesday that it was the first premium podcast service to take advantage of Amazon’s Alexa payments. The payment service, which is designed for premium content for smart speakers and smart displays, facilitates billing via Amazon’s existing billing relationships. However, customers still have to create a Luminary account to take advantage of the podcast subscription service.

Luminary’s partnership with Amazon comes just as the e-commerce giant is reportedly looking to increase the revenue it generates with Alexa skills. The Information reported Monday that Amazon was looking to increase both engagement with and revenue derived from Alexa next year.

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Amazon reportedly takes a cut of 30 percent of revenue generated with Alexa skills. The company brought in some $1.4 million with Alexa in the first 10 months of 2019, according to The Information. Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.

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