On May 2, Spotify announced that it is testing a new voice-enabled ad experience on mobile to give listeners the ability to interact with content using voice commands.
The streaming service is currently experimenting with the format to direct listeners to branded or original content. The initial test ads promote a branded playlist from Unilever’s Axe and Spotify Studios’ original Clash podcast.
When a voice-enabled ad is served, listeners are able to opt to engage with it by responding, “Play now.” With that voice command, the playlist or podcast is activated. Those podcasts or playlists contain ads. If there is no vocal response for “Play Now,” or something else is said, the the audio content currently playing will resume as normal.
The ads are going to be served only to a subset of users in the US who have microphone permissions granted in their settings and are streaming from the free, ad-supported version of Spotify. Users have the ability to opt out.
The new voice command format underscores Spotify’s continued efforts to build out its ad-supported streaming service and invest in voice solutions.