Spotify is Testing Voice-Enabled Audio Ads for Unilever Brand AXE
Spotify is testing voice-enabled audio ads for Unilever and its own podcast properties according to a story published yesterday in AdAge. The ad will only be served to users that have their microphone permission enabled and will offer to play a curated playlist designed by the brand AXE. If the user says, “Play now” after the ad’s call to action, then the playlist will start and it will include ads between songs. It is not clear if those ads are drawn from Spotify’s general pool of advertisers or specifically from the sponsoring brand.
The Spotify voice ads will also be used to promote Spotify podcasts and channels. A video example of the user experience is embedded below.
Not the First Audio Ads
Pandora recently partnered with Instreamatic to deliver its own voice-enable audio ads. AdAge points out, however, that Pandora has yet to run these ad formats for any large brands. NPR also experimented with voice interactive audio ads provided by XAPPmedia way back in 2014 which is the first known use of the format. In addition, Google Assistant is providing ads to some voice search queries today as reported first by Voicebot, and Target last year enabled users to ask for coupons by voice.
AdAge reported that IAB data show digital audio advertising was $935 million in the first half of 2018 alone. However, when you look at voice search advertising integration, coupons, samples, and other voice engagement opportunities, voice interactive advertising will cut across several ad revenue categories.