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Google Is An Ad Company

21 March 2017

If enough people decide they don't want to sit around waiting through audio ads in the middle of using a device meant to be convenient, that could be trouble for the Google Home's future.

Thankfully, a few hours after the video spread online, Google stopped the "Beauty and the Beast" audio snippet altogether. In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice. It has the Google Assistant built-in, so you are able to ask it the usual questions you've been able to ask Google for quite some time. "For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle". They do make great gifts, as the Google Assistant works with both Android and iOS devices (obviously it's a bit more baked in with Android than iOS).

Later that day, voice-computing evangelist Brian Roemmele noted that "Twitter has Google Home trending with over 11,000 negative tweets by 6pm". Other Home users noted similar experiences, typically without ever having shown any interest in the movie before.

The tech giant has experimented before with including what it calls "seasonal timely content" on the Google Home device without it being requested.

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Google Home, Google's answer to the Amazon Echo, has had a pretty rocky launch.

Although there have been claims from "sources familiar" with the matter that Google was not paid for this mention, it's possible that this was merely a trial run of a potential advertising system.

CaptainCaptioni added that he had not previously searched for the film and it didn't reflect his interests. Its statement basically said that what played wasn't an ad, even though it certainly sounded like one. The company denied that this was an ad, but made a decision to pull the content anyway. This was incorporated by the company as part of the My Day feature, which offers users helpful tips and information about the day. "We will be continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case".

This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.

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In fairness, previous "timely content" has come up on Google Home without prompting.

Regardless of what Google says, we often seem to forget that while Google is many things, it's absolutely an ad company first.

Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight said the rise of digital assistants presents a "tricky conundrum" for advertising sales. Google advertised a set of features and services for Home in exchange for your $130; integrated ads was not among them.

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Google Is An Ad Company