Spotify, Sampling, and the Growth Voice Ads 

We’ve been monitoring the growth of voice-enabled advertising and interactive audio marketing for the last couple of years and continue to believe this will become a widely adopted format for marketers. Although early activations showed strong engagement, the broader industry has taken time to roll out proper offerings to support it. By the end of last year, we saw Amazon, Spotify and Pandora all begin trialing the format on a limited basis for brand engagement campaigns. This week, we have another use case being supported through Spotify’s platform that more directly supports purchase intent— product sampling. As more pilots continue to be run by brands utilizing this emerging format, we anticipate a broader variety of valuable opportunities to surface and solidify the early success this type of advertising has seen.        

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Voice Ads’ Latest Campaign

Spotify has begun a new voice-enabled ad program with cosmetics brand Nars to drive sampling. The UK pilot will run for 8 weeks and target smart speaker listeners with a voice-activated opportunity to request a product sample by vocally responding to an audio advertisement. Spotify has previously explored voice-activated advertising with Unilever last year and appears committed to continuing their efforts with this new form of marketing. More on Adweek.

Voice Tweets are Here

Just last week, we saw Snapchat add voice-enabled lens features to their platform and now we have Twitter bringing a voice-first feature to their product. The short-form social sharing platform has debuted a new ‘voice tweets’ feature for a limited group of users. The capability allows users to record up to 140 seconds of audio and post the content as streaming audio available in the timeline. The tweets appear similar to other rich media content tweets and can be played while users continue to scroll through their feeds. More on CNET.

Words with Alexa

Gaming company Zynga has launched a new game for Alexa, Words With Friends Word Pop. The game, a version of their popular Words with Friends mobile experience, can be played on either a multimodal, screened device or a speaker-only device. For now, the game is free and does not utilize any monetization features. The launch marks one of the first games launched on Alexa from a major mobile gaming company and signals a commitment to voice as a platform for future growth with players. More on VentureBeat

Stats Don’t Lie

31% Q1 increase in Spotify paid subscribers (data via The Drum)

62% U.S. Millennials who have a voice-controlled product in their home (data via ThinkNow Research)

Chart of the Week

Smart Speaker News and Entertainment eMarketer
(eMarketer via Business Insider)