Nuance launches interactive mobile voice advertisements
Nuance Communications unveiled Voice Ads, a new mobile advertising format enabling consumers to interact directly with campaigns by speaking into their smartphones.
Voice Ads expands on voice and natural language technologies powering existing Nuance products like Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Dragon Mobile Assistant, leveraging core mobile device capabilities like location awareness and voice input to deliver targeted ads that prompt the consumer to ask questions. In a YouTube video posted to the Nuance site, Vice President of Advertising Mike McSherry demonstrates a virtual Magic 8-Ball campaign that answers users verbal queries to promote a fictional deodorant brand.
"Mobile has a monetization challenge," McSherry told AllThingsD. "By introducing voice you can transcend the small screen size."
Nuance is releasing a Voice Ads software development kit that enables mobile ad platform and network providers as well as creative agencies to integrate the technology into new and existing mobile campaigns. Nuance is additionally partnering with mobile ad firms Millennial Media (NYSE:MM), Jumptap and Opera Mediaworks as well as creative agencies Digitas, OMD and Leo Burnett to provide distribution to more than 100,000 app publishers and hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide.
"Most ads have limited engagement," McSherry said. "If this increases the likelihood of participation by even fractional percentage points, it is worthwhile."
Worldwide mobile advertising revenues are expected to reach $11.4 billion in 2013, up from $9.6 billion a year earlier, according to a forecast issued in January by research and advisory firm Gartner. The Asia-Pacific market continues to lead the globe in mobile advertising gains and is expected to generate $4.8 billion in revenues this year, up from $4.3 billion in 2012; Gartner anticipates North America and Western Europe will narrow the gap this year, with the former increasing 2013 mobile ad revenues to $3.8 billion (up from $3.2 billion last year) and the latter raking in $1.9 billion (up from $1.6 billion).
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Gartner: Mobile ad revenues on pace to reach $11.4 billion in 2013