Spotify pushes boundaries of marketing by integrating voice-enabled user interactions for advertisements.
Spotify is a freemium music and podcast streaming platform functioning since October 2008. As a freemium service, users can enjoy the basic features for free, but upgrading to the paid premium services unlocks additional features like better audio quality and removal of ads.
On May 2nd, Spotify rolled out their new advertising campaign test. They are testing out voice-activated advertisements that work on specific verbal commands given by the user. The voice-enabled ads are for now being tested on a small group of free listeners in the USA who already have microphone permissions enabled for the app.
“Consumers are increasingly participating in ‘screen detoxes’ and as a result marketers are looking for innovative ways to reach their business goals and engage with audiences.”
Spotify believes that voice enabled ads are the future of marketing if we look at the ever growing consumer interest and investment in voice activated commands and smart assistants like Siri and Alexa. Right now, Spotify has two advertisements linked to this campaign. One of them links to one of Spotify’s Original podcast, “Stay Free: The Story of Clash“. The second link directs the users to a Unilever Axe campaign branded playlist. Listeners have to respond saying “play now” in order for the app to direct them to the content. If the app doesn’t log a response, or the user speaks a different command, the app plays ads as usual.
Users can opt-out of the voice enabled ads by turning off the permissions for the app. Iphone users can change the setting in the “Privacy” section of their “Settings” app. Android users can find the access to permissions under the “Permissions” section under “Apps and notifications” in their “Settings”.
Spotify is currently only voice-enabled ads on iOS and Android devices in the US. These early tests are to gauge the user interaction and response to the ads and see what percentage of users will ignore or disable them. They haven’t yet mentioned whether they are planning to expand on this yet.