Amazon’s exploring the possibilities of its smart home device and you won’t like what it’s thinking about doing.
With the Echo Dot being one of Amazon’s top-selling products last holiday season, Amazon is looking for ways to monetise its gadgets. The e-commerce giant is reportedly discussing the possibility of big brands promoting products on Echo smart speakers, powered by digital assistant Alexa.
Advertising through smart home devices is new territory for brands. Like radio, it has no visuals, but it is uniquely conversational and interactive. It’s a rocky road ahead. If brands advertise through Echo, how will Amazon distinguish between sponsored responses and ones from Alexa, to avoid drawing the negative attention of the Federal Trade Commission? Will some people simply stop using their Alexa devices, put off by advertising?
In some ways, Alexa already advertises to its users. The polite voice assistant suggests particular products over others based on a consumer’s purchase history and opt-in environments like ‘Campbell’s Kitchen’ offer branded services according to consumer preferences. Perhaps ads on Alexa aren’t so off-putting as long as they add value to a user’s experience.
Read more about the future of advertising here.