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Home / Technology / Spotify’s ‘Hey Spotify’ feature rolls out, expect new ads

Spotify’s ‘Hey Spotify’ feature rolls out, expect new ads

Illustration for the article titled Spotify will use your voice to beat you with ads

Photo: Martin Bureau (Getty Images)

For almost a year now, we have seen Spotify create acquisition after acquisition and product update after product update to establish a foothold in the ad-targeted space. Now starts the company’s new dataset for this purpose: your voice.

This update was a bit of a footnote to the new Spotify voice commands that were noticed on Wednesday by GSMArena. While the company did not release an official announcement of the new feature, some iOS and Android Spotify users began noticing prompts to enable a new voice-driven search feature in the app. SSimilar to the way you can say “Hello Google” or “Hello Alexa” to your smart home devices, the new Spotify feature asks users to say: “Hey Spotify,” as a way to activate it.

While I did not do it personally receive a notification, I noticed that I could also enable this feature by pressing the “Settings” button in my Spotify app and turning on “Voice Interactions.”

It is worth noting here that Spotify has tested this watchword feature in the mobile app for about a year now. Back in 2019, the company even started testing a similar tool for people who may have been driving, called – not even nonsense – “Car Thing. ”

After downloading the update, one of the first things I noticed was that this update takes much more friendliness towards certain artists as opposed to others. To tell Spotify to play, say, the Beatles or Pink Floyd, or recently baptized Grammy winner Dua Lipa, you will get what you ask for. This is not always the case with more obscure artists, or those with difficult to pronounce names. Just as an example, no matter how many times I tried to get Spotify to play an album by the experimental noise rock duo Xiu Xiu (pronounced “shoo shoo, “For the people at home), Spotify would not stop playing 70’s funk hit”Shoe Shoe Shine.

Another lump that stood out to me was that Spotify pointed me to Spotlight when I turned on this feature one side which showed exactly how my voice data would be collected, stored, and used.

Illustration for the article titled Spotify will use your voice to beat you with ads

Screenshot: Shoshana Wodinsky (Gizmodo)

The first thing Spotify mentions on this page is that by turning on these controls, you not only activate “Hi Spotify ” traits but others too – even potentially “interacting with some ads” using your voice. In fact, voice-driven ads are an idea that Spotify has been kicking around for about two years: Back i mai In 2019, the company rolled out a limited run of ads for specific Spotify podcasts – if users said a specific magic word, it will lead them to listen to the show’s last episode.

Since then, it looks like the company’s only rolled out a major voice-over advertising campaign last summer, but has been relatively quiet on the project since then. Rpublishes this new “Hi Spotify ” Campaign can be a way to quietly push more users to bring such voice-driven ads to their devices, albeit in a semi-sneaky way. Similarly, Spotify also notes in its policy that your voice data will be used to provide you with more “relevant” – ie targeted – ads.

On the bright side, Spotify makes it crystal clear that it’s just that some voice data used against this. According to the guidelines, Spotify only starts receiving your voice data when you say the wake-up word (or press the record button), until “Spotify has processed your question or request.” Your phone will also “always indicate to you when Spotify receives your voice input”, the company added. “For example, with a visual indicator or an audible tone.”

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