Spotify is listening, with interactive ads
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Spotify is listening, with interactive ads

Music streaming market leader Spotify is experimenting with new ad technology that promises to bring sponsors and listeners closer together than ever before. As of right now, the tech, which focuses on voice activation software, will be used to refer listeners around Spotify’s own ecosystem to various pieces of braded and curated content. It’s not clear at time of writing whether this technology will ever enable off-platform jumps.

Spotify’s share price has risen 23% so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

Here’s how it will work: Spotify, through the speaker on your smartphone or other device, will play advertisements with which you can interact. One of the test pieces of content is for the company’s original podcast Stay Free: The Story of the Clash. When an ad for this podcast plays, users can give a verbal command that takes them directly to it. The tech essentially shunts willing users around curated audio journeys – that, of course, could be a major force in Spotify’s advertising offering, and the other piece of content the tech is being trialled on is a brand playlist that links in to a Unilever Axe marketing campaign later this month.

There’s a larger strategic goal in play here: the burgeoning voice-assisted speaker market. This rapidly expanding industry has seen major players like Amazon and Google develop AI-powered virtual personal assistants and colonise people’s front rooms. For an audio-first platform like Spotify, the potential is obvious – and developing its own voice tech is a clear way in. CEO Daniel Ek says: “We believe voice — really across all platforms — are critical areas of growth, particularly for music and audio content. And we’re investing in it, and we’re testing ways to explore and refine our offering in this arena.”

Voice tech is a huge, and fast-growing area. A recent report from Juniper Research said there are now 2.5 billion digital voice assistants in use, and that figure is set to rise to 8 billion by 2023.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Spotify in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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