Spotify debuts interactive voice ads in US pilot run

Spotify launched interactive voice-enabled ads in a limited US test run.

May 3, 2019

Spotify has launched voice-enabled advertising — a Siri-like voice that pushes listeners to verbally purchase ad content.

According to Spotify, the audio ads will start by guiding listeners to a branded playlist or podcast. When the ad runs, the voice will nudge you toward owning the content by saying, “Play now.” 

In other words, it’s the ugly “impulse buy” voice inside your head come to life.

The new normal

Voice assistants are here, people: A recent Juniper Research report found 2.5B VAs in use today — a figure expected to grow to 8B by 2023 — and Spotify isn’t the only one capitalizing.

A year after Amazon opened its own in-skill purchasing (i.e. in-app purchasing) to Alexa developers in the US, the company will take the service international

With in-skill purchasing, developers generate revenue from voice apps  through Spotify’s method (a one-time purchase), subscription, or consumables (hints for trivia games, etc.).

Now the kid gloves are off

People are already wary of voice assistants that set alarms, crank jams, and control smart home devices (Alexa’s great at dimming smart bulbs) — but that clearly hasn’t stopped them from using those assistants.

Now, voice-enabled ads will push us to fulfill corporate interests even more obviously than before.

If our gut instinct is the angel on one shoulder telling us to beware, then voice-enabled ads are the devil telling us to buy, buy, buy.

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