Do Consumers Want to Hear Ads from Alexa?

If relevant, voice assistant users would welcome sponsored ads and recommendations

Author: Jen King

May 24, 2018

More marketers are looking to voice assistants like Alexa and Siri to help drive awareness—and ultimately purchases—for many of their products. But are consumers interested in hearing them?

Turns out, they don't really mind—as long the sponsored content or product suggestions are relevant to what they are looking for. In fact, many US voice assistant users surveyed by NetElixir in February 2018 said they would welcome this form of advertising throughout their voice search journey, whether that's when they're researching products or looking to get advice on them. 

Interestingly, 16.5% of respondents said they wouldn't mind getting an advertised product suggestion when they ask either Alexa or Siri to make a purchase, which likely signals they're on the lookout for a deal or offer. 

In all, very few respondents (10.8%) said they wouldn't want to hear about any sponsored content or product suggestions, while less than 1% said they're tired of seeing or hearing ads—that there are enough of them out there. 

This is a good indicator for marketers looking to capitalize in the space. Earlier this year, Amazon was reportedly in talks with companies like Procter & Gamble to start offering paid voice search advertising opportunities on Amazon Echo, the most prevalent of the smart speakers.

While Amazon doesn’t offer brands paid voice search just yet, its smart speakers might not be the most impartial shopping tool. And that's something marketers need to consider before fully investing in the space. But again, the opportunity is surely there. 

We estimate there will be 91.0 million voice assistant users in the US this year. And we expect that number will grow to 105.8 million by 2020. 

Subscribers to eMarketer PRO: Look for a new report, "US Voice Users 2018," publishing later next week.