Voice Commerce Startup Say It Now Acquires Voice App Developer GetStarted
British voice commerce and advertising tech developer Say It Now has acquired Canada-based voice AI startup GetStarted for an undisclosed sum. The purchase adds new features and talent to Say It Now as it attempts to scale up its voice tech offerings.
Say It Now Started
Say It Now is best known for its interactive voice advertising platform. The ads play on smart speakers and allow listeners to ask for information and make purchases by asking the voice assistant directly. Say It Now was one of the ad and tech firms behind the ads running on Alexa for Bayer’s Berocca Boost vitamin tablets. The ads dynamically inserted into streaming radio via Alexa included a call to action to activate an Alexa skill offering information and direct purchase by voice through existing Amazon shopping accounts. The startup also saw success with Diageo’s “Talisker Tasting Experience” release earlier this year.
GetStarted’s voice tech focuses on enterprise services and experiences. The wide range of use cases emphasizes templates and minimal coding for building voice AI that can handle commerce, customer service, and information retrieval, among other requests. The tech will augment Say It Now’s existing stable of services. As part of the deal, GetStarted CEO Norbert Horvath will become Say It Now’s CTO and executive vice president.
“We are excited to have joined Say It Now and look forward to powering our shared vision that every advertisement can be actionable and offer an instant conversion,” Horvath said in a statement. “The personal nature of voice commerce can help brands to foster sustained relationships with consumers in a sophisticated way that traditional broadcast advertising struggles to compete with. The market has a huge growth potential and we are looking forward to cementing Say It Now’s leadership in this space.”
Commerce and Ads
As voice commerce becomes more common, voice advertising’s value is starting to rise. Amazon recently started upping the Alexa interactive ads but is only following the trail blazed by Say It Now and its fellows. For instance, there was the interactive audio ad campaign run by AdTonos in London last year for Audi, as well as Pandora’s experiments, while Spotify has run campaigns for Unilever brands and UK cosmetics firm Nars. Research has borne out the impact of these kinds of ads. A Cumulus Media case study published early this year found that those who heard an ad for the Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers Association on their smart speaker were 24% more likely to be familiar with the brand.
“For the last 70 years broadcast advertising has been based on command and control: repeating messages until you comply. We are on a mission to change this. We want to harness the potential of actionable audio advertising so that brands can start an engaging conversation with their consumers,” Say It Now CEO Charlie Cadbury explained in a statement. “We look forward to working with GetStarted’s exceptional team to transform traditional audio advertising. We want to do this in a way that enhances the listener experience and allows brands to optimize their campaigns in real time based on engagement data.”