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Spotify’s “Hey Spotify” feature is running, expect new ads

An illustration for an article titled Spotify will use your voice to hit you with ads

Photo: Martin Bureau (Getty images)

We’ve been watching Spotify for less than a year now acquisition after acquisition and product update after product update to establish itself in the ad targeting space. Now, the company is embarking on a new data set for this purpose: your voice.

This update was a small footnote to the new Spotify voice commands, which were first spotted on Wednesday from GSMArena. Although the company did not officially announce the new feature, some iOS and Android Spotify-ers began to notice prompts to activate a new voice search feature in the app. Csimilar to the way you can say “Hey Google” or “Hey Alexa” for your smart home devices, the new Spotify feature prompts users to say: “Hey Spotify,” as a way to activate it.

Until I personally did receiving notification, I noticed that I could also enable this feature by clicking the “settings” button in my Spotify application and turning on “Voice Interactions”.

Here it is worth noting that Spotify is testing this feature for wakeful words in its mobile app about a year now. Going back to 2019, the company even started testing a similar tool for people who can drive, called – even if we’re not kidding – “A car thing. “

After downloading the update, one of the first things I noticed was that this update treats certain artists much more kindly than others. Telling Spotify to play, say, the Beatles or Pink Floyd, or newly baptized Grammy winner Dua Lipa, and you will get what you want. 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 release an album from the experimental rock duo Xiu Xiu (pronounced “shoo shoo, “For the people at home), Spotify would not stop playing a hit from the 70’s funk”Shoe shoe shine.

Another block that seemed to me was that after enabling this feature, Spotify directed me to page which set out exactly how my voice data will be collected, stored, and is used.

An illustration for an article titled Spotify will use your voice to get you to advertise

Screenshot: Shoshana Vodinski (Gizmodo)

The first thing Spotify mentions on this page is that turning on these controls doesn’t just activate “Hey Spotify ” feature but also others – even potentially “interacting with some ads” using your voice. In fact, voice ads are an idea that Spotify has been kicking for about two years: Back in May 2019, the company released a limited mileage of ads for specific podcasts on Spotify – if users have said a certain magic word, it will direct them to listen to the last episode of this show.

Since then, it seems that the company is only on the market one basic a voice-driven advertising campaign last summer, but has been relatively quiet on the project ever since. Rcall this new “Hey Spotify ” The campaign can be a way to quietly push more users to introduce this type of voice advertising on their devices, albeit in a semi-mean way. Similarly, Spotify also notes in its policy that your voice data will be used to serve you more relevant ads, ie.

On the better side, Spotify makes it crystal clear that there is only one some voice data used for this purpose. According to the rules, Spotify only starts receiving your voice data when you say the waking word (or press the record button) until “Spotify processes your question or request”. Your phone will also always indicate when Spotify receives your voice input, the company added. “For example, with a visual indicator or a sound tone.”

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