If there is a reason why some users choose to pay for services like Netflix or the premium version of Spotify it is because they don’t want to deal with ads. While ads are a perfectly legitimate way of making money, it can disrupt the viewing or listening experience which is something not everyone appreciates.


Now it seems that soon ads could be invading your smart speakers like the Amazon Echo. In a report from CNET, it seems that ads could be coming to Alexa skills thanks to a company called VoiceLabs. Basically what will happen is that the company will help insert ads inside of Alexa skills, so that when you’re done using a particular skill, you might hear an ad or a shoutout to one of their partners.

Speaking to CNET’s Ry Crist, Adam Marchick, CEO and co-founder of VoiceLabs gave an example in which users can expect to hear messages like, “Thanks for playing our game, and thanks to ESPN for supporting us.” Marchick also added that a few uses later, the ad might evolve and remind users that there is a game on ESPN tonight and if they would like to be reminded about it.

However as it stands, Amazon has a pretty strict policy in which skills for Alexa found to contain advertising may be banned or rejected. In VoiceLabs’ case, they’re skirting around the rule by positioning these ads as flash briefings which is allowed by Amazon. According to Marchick, “We are 100 percent in compliance with Amazon’s policies. 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 monetization? This needs to be addressed.”

Filed in General. Read more about AI (Artificial Intelligence), Alexa and Amazon.

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