Spotify has begun testing voice-enabled audio ads for one of its own podcasts as well as a branded playlist from Unilever, the British-Dutch consumer goods giant.
Testing of the voice-enabled technology began last week featuring an ad for a Spotify Original podcast series about Britsh punk band The Clash.
A second ad, due to be launched later this month, will direct users who say “play now” to a curated playlist from Unilever, promoting its Axe men’s grooming brand.
For now, the ads will be available only to a subset of Spotify’s free mobile listeners in the US who have enabled the app’s voice controls during the trial period.
Users who aren’t interested in the service can opt out by going to a “voice-enabled ads” section in the settings menu. They also can choose to disable the microphone access entirely.
Daniel Ek, CEO and co-founder of Spotify, hinted at the development during a call with investors last week.
“We believe voice – really across all platforms – are critical areas of growth, particularly for music and audio content. And we’re investing in it, and we’re testing ways to explore and refine our offering in this arena,” he said at the time.