According to CNBC, Amazon is reportedly in talks with companies including Proctor & Gamble and Clorox to advertise on its Echo devices, potentially suggesting their products when you ask your Echo to buy something.
Although Amazon states that “There are no plans to add advertising to Alexa”, it is thought to be discussing search placement and whether brands can get suggested over others. Looking ahead to the future, when Alexa will be used to help with online shopping, it may suggest products from a sponsored brand.
Amazon already makes product suggestions when you’re online shopping on the platform, but these are algorithmic and not paid.
The CNBC report says that there may be a range of promotional opportunities on Alexa. One is reportedly a product suggestion on behalf of a brand tied to purchase history. “Alexa may suggest to a shopper who previously bought Clorox’s Pine-Sol to consider buying its disinfecting wipes,” CNBC says. Consumer shopping data, in the aggregate and by individual, could be used here very effectively to target ads.
Amazon currently dominates the virtual assistant market with a +70% market share. The use of voice interfaces and voice search has taken hold over the past 18 months, with comScore projecting that 50% of search queries will come from voice by 2020.