“Ok, Google. What’s my day like?”
Normally, Google’s smart home speaker would recite what’s on your calendar, whether there’s traffic on your commute, and what the weather is like. But several users have noted the device is also playing audio ads for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which hits theaters this Friday.
Twitter user Bryson Meunier recorded video of the audio in action. If you were wondering how Google might monetize Home, this could be your answer. Apparently, the same audio is played through Google Assistant on Android. It seems wherever you go, Google’s ads will find you.
The audio seamlessly blends in with the information already being recited, which has a lot of users peeved. It could indicate how Google may decide to do future promotional tie-ins. It’s unclear if Google will make these audio ads a regular occurrence, or if users can opt out.
Google provided a statement to The Verge about the audio, saying it isn’t an ad. “This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.” Most people would agree that, yes, it’s an ad after.
Ads are probably inevitable
The integration of the ad is pretty seamless, we’ll give Google that. But it’s off-putting when something that’s actively listening for your voice is suddenly spewing ads. Google is in the business of advertising, sure, but if the company had said the device would one day begin playing ads, I’m sure a lot of people would have opted not to buy it.
— brysonmeunier (@brysonmeunier) March 16, 2017