Ads coming to Amazon’s Alexa?

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Are ads coming soon to smart speaker Alexa?  According to a story in today’s InsideRadio that could be on the near horizon.  When asked, Amazon has repeatedly stated that Alexa would not be used as an ad platform.  A recent beta-test suggest otherwise & now there is speculation there could be pre-roll ads when users launch a radio station’s web stream or a podcast.  Amazon is now making pitches to ad agencies about buying ad time on their smart speakers. The tests began last summer when Amazon began inserting ads into it’s streaming service. Ad buyers have been told to expect a first quarter expansion of Amazon’s menu to include audio.  During the beta-test, Amazon told buyers that while it would accept either :15- or :30-second ads, it prefers :30s. The spots also had to be appropriate for all ages, free of “violent, threatening, suggestive or provocative” content. Kellogg’s PopTarts is said to be one of the brands that took part in the test.  When questioned, Amazon insists that the ad inserts will only be initially present in it;s Amazon Music service, but behind the scenes have been making suggestions the pre-roll ads would be expanded to other products & services including smart speakers.  Ad agencies have already been approached by clients inquiring about placing ads on podcasts that air through Alexa.  Even if the Alexa ads are limited to Amazon Music, it will still give buyers a sizable audience, reportedly now approaching 55 million subscribers.  “Hey Alexa, is that a 15 second or 30 second ad?”

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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