With consumer usage of voice-activated devices and applications rising sharply, Horizon Media is partnering with SpokenLayer to provide its clients with end-to-end voice app development, services and distribution platforms.
Under the agreement, Horizon will now offer clients voice-enabled experiences on various platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod, as well as future smart speakers.
"In the past, SpokenLayer’s primary focus has been on content, but it also has incredibly strong voice strategy development capabilities that impressed us,” says Pedro Rodriquez, director, social strategy and invention, and multicultural social media practice co-lead at Horizon.
Horizon sought out the company, given its experience as an early pioneer in voice applications and tech space, though opted for a partnership rather than outright acquisition.
"We felt that aligning our media planning and client strategy expertise to their existing infrastructure would be most advantageous to our clients," says Rodriquez.
The burgeoning interest in voice-enabled systems presents special challenges for advertisers, since they can't rely on their usual bag of tricks. For instance, there aren't breaks to insert traditional media placements.
"In the voice environment, voice-enabled speakers are an invitation to interact with consumers on their terms," says Donnie Williams, Chief Digital Officer, Horizon Media. "Brands that accept the challenge early on will find an opportunity to create a more impactful dialogue with both high value and prospective customers.”