Spotify wants its listeners to literally respond to ads: The company has begun to test voice ads, which encourage listeners to give voce commands in order to explore additional content related to the ad. The test is limited to a subset of U.S.-based users of Spotify’s free, ad-supported tier.
One of the ads being tested is for Unilever’s Axe brand, according to AdAge, which was first to report on the new feature this week. The ad encourages listeners to check out a Spotify podcast sponsored by Unilever by saying “play now.”
Voice ads only works for users who previously enabled voice control, and users can disable this type of advertising any time in their ad settings. The test announcement comes only days after CEO Daniel Ek noted voice as a “critical area of growth” for the company during Spotify’s Q1 earnings call.
Spotify isn’t the only music streaming service to try voice ads: Pandora announced last month that it would try similar advertising later this year.
Pandora, which is now owned by SiriusXM, added voice control to its mobile apps earlier this year. Chief product officer Chris Phillips told Variety at the time that consumers were increasingly expecting voice functionality due to the growing popularity of smart speakers. “Pandora is already used by millions of people on voice-enabled devices,” he said.