Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
Amazon is ending support for Alexa's celebrity voices soon
- Amazon is discontinuing Celebrity Personalities for Alexa.
- The Samuel L. Jackson personality has already stopped working.
- Shaq and Melissa McCarthy’s voices will stop working later this year.
Amazon first introduced Celebrity Personalities for Alexa back in 2019. Now it appears Amazon is pulling the plug on Alexa’s celebrity voices skill.
If you go to the Celebrity Personalities for Alexa page, you’ll be greeted by the faces of Samuel L. Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Melissa McCarthy. But if you click on their individual pages, you’ll notice there’s an update. That update reveals that these Celebrity Personalities are no longer available for purchase. Not only are these voices no longer available for purchase, but Amazon also appears to be ending support.
On Jackson’s page, it says that customers who “purchased the experience may continue to use the skill until April 30, 2023.” Meaning that the skill has already stopped working. As for Shaq and McCarthy, their pages received a similar notice. However, their voices will continue to be available until Sept 30, 2023.
When Celebrity Personalities for Alexa first launched, it debuted with Jackson’s voice which was priced at $0.99. Alexa users who purchased the experience could summon Jackson’s voice by saying to Alexa, “Hey Samuel L. Jackson.” Amazon later added both Shaq’s and McCarthy’s voices in 2021 before raising the asking price to $4.99.
While it’s unknown why Amazon suddenly made this decision, it could be related to the troubles Amazon has had with Alexa. Last year, it was reported that Alexa was causing the company to hemorrhage cash. Amazon also ended up laying off 10,000 employees with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant department being the most heavily hit. The problem is attributed to an inability to monetize the virtual assistant. As reported by Ars Technica, “Just about every plan to monetize Alexa has failed, with one former employee calling Alexa ‘a colossal failure of imagination,’ and ‘a wasted opportunity.'”