Amazon Testing Alexa Sponsored Voice Ads, Report Says

Virtual assistants have marketers scrambling to figure out how to optimize content as companies like Amazon begin testing voice-triggered audio search advertisements.  

Reports surfaced Tuesday that Amazon has been speaking to consumer products goods companies such as Clorox and Procter & Gamble to develop advertisements. The CPG companies would promote their products on Echo devices powered by the Alexa voice assistant.

Early discussions have centered on whether companies would pay for higher placement if a user searches for a product on the device, similar to how paid-search works on Google, according to CNBC, which cited "people."

This should not come as a surprise to marketers preparing to optimize content for voice searches. The ads are being described as what the industry refers to as sponsored content.

For example, if someone asks Alexa how to clean up a spill, Amazon's voice assistant would respond to the query by naming a specific brand that paid for the sponsorship or bid a higher price to serve the voice advertisement.  



Advertisers are focused on search placement on Alexa and on other hubs because voice assistants typically only provide one answer per consumer query.

Amazon has hinted at launching a voice-operated advertisement platform for sponsored products. And last week, reports surfaced that Amazon is testing several new advertising units and types.

Another offering would allow brands to target users based on past shopping behavior or perhaps shopping behavior at the Whole Foods market.

In May 2017, eMarketer estimated that the number of people in the U.S. using voice-enabled speakers would more than double to 36 million, with Amazon capturing nearly 71% of the market. 

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