When we think about smart speakers and voice control, we tend to think about people controlling music. But there’s also potential for them to be interacting with advertisements too.

Spotify has announced that it is testing ‘voice-enabled’ ads in the US for some of its free listeners. For now, the ads are for content on Spotify itself: its podcast ‘Stay Free: The Story of The Clash’ and a playlist created to promote Unilever’s deodorant brand Axe. The ads are only being tested with people who’ve already turned on Spotify’s voice-controlled features, with the company stressing that there is a toggle that they can use to opt out of voice-enabled ads.

“If an ad-supported user’s microphone permissions are enabled on Spotify, the user could receive a voice-enabled audio ad promoting a playlist or podcast while listening on the mobile app,” explained Spotify’s announcement. “The ad will encourage the user to check out the content by saying ‘Play Now’. The listener then has the opportunity to respond. If the user says anything other than ‘Play Now,’ a tone sounds, the mic turns off, and the ad break continues as usual.”

Spotify’s tests follows Pandora’s announcement in early April that it will be testing voice-enabled ads later this year, via a partnership with ad-tech firm Instreamatic.

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