October 1, 2023

Voice assistants have become a big selling point for companies such as Google and Amazon.

When Amazon released Alexa, for its Echo speaker, the voice-command market blew up, but now the company wants to change the playing field by introducing ads to Amazon Alexa.

Amazon is not interested in adding commercials the length of TV spots or radio ads to their product but plan to be more subtle with advertising products .

“Amazon should not resort to adding ads to Alexa,” said Frank Weiss, sophomore biochemistry major and Alexa user. “I, as a customer, would be much more comfortable with Amazon finding some other method to fund the program.

“If Alexa mimics the experience we have on the Amazon website, that would be the most customer-friendly outcome. If this isn’t the case in the future, many customers will find alternatives to Alexa with which they feel more comfortable.”

Amazon has been talking with Clorox and Proctor & Gamble about adding suggestions to products the consumer wants to buy.

Alexa has a feature where the owner can ask to order a product, but now Amazon wants to team up with other brands to offer suggestions before checkout.

Amazon launched a commercial about Alexa’s voice going away and famous singers, actors and chefs were featured in this short commercial to replace Alexa’s voice. Amazon started to apply add-ons to Alexa shortly after.

“Gordon Ramsay might not be the new voice of Alexa, but he will review your cooking chops. Just say, ‘Alexa, ask Gordan Ramsay what he thinks about my food’ to get started,” stated Amazon on Twitter.

Not only are there going to be suggestions during checkout, but add-ons for Alexa to sponsor certain people.

Many customers are concerned with Amazon suggesting things that are not related to the products they are ordering using Alexa.

With this feature becoming a reality the question remains how excessive will the advertisements become. However, some customers say they  believe this might benefit their Alexa experience.

“Ads would be annoying but ‘suggested products’ might be a better feature,” said Jack Solis, freshman business administration major and Alexa user. “If Alexa suggested products that directly related to what I was buying, and wasn’t swayed by outside investors, it might be an interesting feature.”

As  of now,  Amazon does not have any ads that will be placed into the device, but consumers should not be surprised if in the near future they add this to the device in the near future.

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