Google is using its Google Home internet-connected speaker to serve up ads in what could be the start of showing ads more in its internet-enabled speaker.
According to a report in Bloomberg, last week Bryson Meunier, an online search executive at digital ticket seller Vivid Seats, showed in a video on Twitter how his Google Home speaker played an ad for Beauty and the Beast movie, which Disney remade and premiered during the weekend. The executive asked Google what his day is like, and the virtual assistant built into the speaker told him the weather and traffic and then alerted him to the fact that the Beauty and the Beast movie opened Friday (March 17).
The fact that Google Home served up a relevant ad garnered a lot of excitement from Wall Street and other industry players since this could result in a new revenue and profit stream if ads via Google Assistant grows in a big way. Not only could it mean new profit avenues, but it could help the company stay competitive with Amazon and Alexa, which already accepts online orders via Alexa-powered speaker Echo. A google spokesperson told Bloomberg it wasn’t intended to be an ad and said, “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.”
The report noted that Google pulled the Disney ad or experiment.
In recent weeks, Google has been adding to its Home speaker. In February, it announced users can order goods for delivery from its speaker. Google’s Assistant will pull goods from the retailers that already support Google Express — including Costco, Walgreens and Whole Foods.