15-second ads coming to Amazon’s AlexaEnlarge
Where there’s a media platform popular with consumers, advertisers are never far behind.

Case in point, Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa, which has made its way into everything from smartphones to fridges since launching inside a wireless speaker back in 2014.
VoiceLabs, a chunderifically self-described “Voice Experience Analytics” company, is hoping to cash-in on Amazon’s success by inserting “6-15 seconds long” advertisements “at the start and end of conversations.” This, the company hopes, “can naturally lead a consumer into an experience,” which is polite way of saying “we will make you buy all the things.

VoiceLabs’ plans to place audio ads inside Skills—third-party apps created by developers that allow Alexa to do things like book an Uber or turn on some smart lights—stand in stark contrast to Amazon’s developer agreement, which restricts “any advertising for third-party products or services.” The only Skills that are officially able to feature any form of advertising are streaming music, radio, and flash briefings.
In an interview with Cnet, VoiceLabs’ CEO Adam Marchick maintained that it is currently “100 percent in compliance with Amazon’s policies,” by sticking to advertisements in streaming audio and flash briefings. However, the CEO also offered up a theoretical example of a developer creating a sports trivia skill, which could then offer advertisements from ESPN, one of the company’s launch partners.

Fast food vendor Wendy’s is also on board at launch, with Skills developers Federated Media, XAPPmedia, TWiT.tv, and Appbly signed up to insert advertisements into their apps.
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