Google says its Google Home audio ads aren't ads.

Google Home Is Playing Ads, But Google Says They Aren't Really Ads

Google Home Is Playing Ads, But Google Says They Aren't Really Ads

Business Insider
Analyzing the top news stories across the web
March 16 2017 6:18 PM

Google Home Is Playing Ads, But Google Says They Aren't Really Ads

Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz shows the new Google Home at a conference in May 2016 in Mountain View, California.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

As Google moves toward screen-free computing powered by digital assistants and artificial intelligence, one of the big questions the company faces is how it'll translate its lucrative advertising to those platforms.


Now we're starting to get an idea.

Some users of the new Google Home connected speaker have noticed audio ads for Disney's upcoming "Beauty and the Beast" remake.

Here's a clip of the ad, taken by a Google Home user and posted to Twitter. The ad comes after the user gets an update on his day from the Google Assistant:

Now here's the rub. A Google spokesperson told Business Insider that the ad you just heard 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," the spokesperson said in a statement.

We're as confused as you are by that one. The spokesperson did not respond when asked to clarify.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked multiple times by analysts on the company's last earnings call about how he plans to monetize voice-first products like Google Home. Pichai didn't have a clear answer, sticking to his common refrain that it's still "early days" for the technology.

He also said voice is only "one mode" to control computers and "users will have many different ways by which they interact" with Google products.