DESPITE A BACKLASH against Google's attempts to bring adverts to its voice assistant speaker, they might soon be coming to the Amazon Echo too.
It was only a matter of time until marketing firms found a way to monetise Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo speakers, and VoiceLabs - a self-styled 'voice experience analytics' company - has become the first to do it.
It has created a platform called Sponsored Messages that lets Amazon Skills developers add six to 15-second long adverts at the start and end of each conversation.
Speaking to CNET, Adam Marchick, CEO and co-founder of VoiceLabs gave an example, saying that users can expect to hear messages like: "Thanks for playing our game, and thanks to ESPN for supporting us," adding that a few uses later, the ad might change to remind users that there is a game on ESPN later that night.
However, this goes against Amazon's developer agreement, which forbids "any advertising for third-party products or services." The only Skills that are officially able to feature any form of advertising are streaming music, radio, and flash briefings.
VoiceLabs' CEO Adam Marchick says this ain't a problem, adding that by sticking to advertisements in streaming audio and flash briefings, its "100 percent in compliance with Amazon's policies." However, this does mean that the majority of the Echo's 13,000+ skills are unable to support Sponsored Messages.
"Today, there are around 3,000 flash briefing and streaming skills. What are the other 10,000 skills developers that have invested even more in developing their skills going to do for monetisation? This needs to be addressed," Marchick added.
The platform already has support from ESPN and Wendy's, as well as Alexa developers Federated Media, XAPPmedia, TWiT.tv, Appbly.
Talk of ads coming to the Amazon Echo comes just two month's after Google Home users found themselves greeted with an advert for the new live-action adaptation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast as part of Google's 'My Day' feature.
This, naturally, didn't go down well with users, but Google responded by saying that it wasn't an advert but "helpful information." Er. µ
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