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Spotify launches voice-enabled ads on mobile devices in a limited U.S. test

Spotify is increasing its investment in voice technology, as hinted at earlier this week on the company’s earnings call with investors. The streaming service today is announcing the launch of voice-enabled advertisements, which will encourage the listener to say a verbal command in order to take action on the ad’s content. Initially, the audio ads will direct listeners to a sponsored Spotify playlist or a podcast, the company says.
One of the first voice ads being tested starting today comes from Unilever’s Axe and Spotify Studios.This ad will direct users to the Spotify Original podcast, Stay Free: The Story of the Clash. Another will promote a branded playlist on Spotify related to a Unilever Axe ad campaign.
For now, Spotify is only focused on content promotion within its own service — not anything outside of its app.
These voice ads will only be available to a subset of Spotify’s free mobile listeners in the U.S. during the test period, and only to those who have already enabled Spotify’s voice controls. These may have already been turned on, in those cases where the listener uses Spotify’s in-app voice assistant technology to search for music and podcasts.
Users can choose to opt out of voice ads in the Settings menu, if they prefer, under “Voice-Enabled Ads.” (A “Manage Ad Settings” button also displays on the ad while it’s running to make this setting easier to find.) Listeners can also choose to entirely disable the microphone access in the mobile device’s Settings.
When the ad runs, it will encourage users to check out the content by saying “Play Now” and gives the listener time to respond. If the user says anything else except “Play Now,” a tone will sound and the mic is turned off. The ad break then continues as usual.
https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/voice-enabled-ads-demo.mp4
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