Summits Yellow

Amazon Alexa's skills are getting ads, thanks to VoiceLabs

Tyrone Stewart

Amazon EchoAdvertising is making its way to Alexa’s skills, despite Amazon placing a ban on advertisements within the virtual assistant’s skills just last month.

VoiceLabs, which provides voice analytics for Alexa and Google Assistant, has released its Sponsored Messages. Sponsored Messages, which have been in testing for the ‘past few months’, enables brands to monetise their Alexa skills by inserting ads at the beginning and end of conversations.

The messages last between six and 15 seconds to ‘naturally lead a consumer into an experience or converse with the consumer as they exit’. VoiceLabs already has brands like ESPN and Wendy’s onboard, while also having the support of developers Federated Media, XAPPmedia, Twit.tv, and Appbly.

Amazon’s updated guidelines on the integration of ads state that they can only appear in streaming music, radio or flash briefing skills, and cannot use Alexa’s voice to say them.

Though VoiceLabs’ Sponsored Messages may not breach Amazon’s guidelines, how well the platform could potentially do is questionable.

At the end of the day, people that use voice assistants don’t tend to like ads. Looking at the uproar that surrounded Google Home’s Beauty and the Beast ad and Burger King’s Google Home-activating TV ad, brands may be weary of boarding the Sponsored Messages ship.