While the technology has been emerging for a few years now, we are seeing new offerings from major players including Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, and NBCUniversal. By the week, our brand clients are growing more interested in how they can begin to exploit these opportunities not only as part of their voice strategies, but as a part of their overall paid media mix. Importantly, the medium seems to be appealing to end-users. Pandora recently opened its voice ads program into beta and shared positive results from their pilots, showing that 47% of users said they either liked or loved the concept of responding with their voice and that 72% of users said they found the ad format easy to engage with.
With Axe as a pilot partner in 2019, Spotify explored driving users to a branded playlist using the ads. Now, the streaming service has leveraged its interactive ads to support product sampling programs for brands like NARS in the UK. Amazon is also staying present in this space, gearing up its Alexa audio ads program and encouraging brand partners to utilize these ads as a way to drive e-commerce and voice shopping, a behavior that Adobe Digital Insights anticipates will see significant growth. More recently, we’ve seen NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service launch voice-powered “on command” ads that allow TV viewers to interact directly with commercials via the mic in their remotes.
While it is still early for these types of ads, engagement with branded content and simple commerce experiences via audio have already gained traction. In the coming years, we should expect to see more interactive and personalized audio ad activations, across more surfaces:
The current model of product sponsorships and integrations into TV shows or podcast advertising is a prime area for voice ads to disrupt and enhance. In the coming years, we’ll likely have the opportunity to vocally opt-in to hear more about a brand’s message or receive an offer during these types of ad breaks. This would help minimize irrelevant offers for listeners, improve relevance for listeners, and allow networks and program managers to develop new offerings for sponsors.
Voice ads will look to expand from smart speakers, phones, and TVs into all devices that have microphone access. This could have big implications for brands looking to reach on-the-go consumers in the car or wearing smart earbuds. If voice ads are able to become part of these surfaces and take advantage of contextual data like geographic location, brands will have a variety of exciting opportunities to reach listeners with real-time offers relevant to their activities.
With advanced targeting capabilities available through streaming providers and services, it’s only a matter of time until voice-enabled ads make use of this data. We expect to see brands leveraging this to create more unique, sequential audio advertising programs as well as serve more tailored offers and data-informed recommendations to listeners and viewers. The more data advertisers can act on, the more relevant and valuable content or offers can be served to engaged listeners.