With so many intelligent home assistant devices on the market it was only a matter of time before marketers came up with a way to put a paid advert on them. This appears to have been the case when Google Home delivered an unsolicited advertisement to owners of the device on the launch day of the film ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

While Google denied the claim that the feature was an advert with this statement: “This wasn’t intended to be an ad. What’s circulating online was a part of our My Day feature, where after providing helpful information about your day, we sometimes call out timely content. We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case.”

Sadly most people didn’t believe the blurb from Google in that if something sounds like and advert and acts like an advert then it will be considered by people to be an advert.

The advert could be heard by Google Home users interacting and saying “Okay Google, good morning” and after the usual updates about time, weather and commute the advert went along the lines of “By the way, Disney’s movie, Beauty and the Beast opens in theatres today. In this version Belle is the inventor not Maurice. That sounds more like it to me.”

Is this the future of monetising voice search?

With more and more of us using voice to interact with devices around us such as our cars, phones and intelligent assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home it’s only a matter of time before we start to see audio adverts appearing on these devices. These assistants are great at giving us the content and results we want but platforms like Google rely on adverts to generate their income.

And while we probably it might be some time before voice adverts hit the mainstream this one avenue channel that we’d expect to open up to a paid advertising model and another channel that marketers will need to add to their attribution reports.

We’re excited to see where voice takes us and how platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home choose to monetise these services.