BY MORGAN KEE, SMARTBRIEF

The voice assistant landscape is rapidly evolving this year, with new products, features and studies unveiled every week. But until now, we haven't seen new ad opportunities - just baked-in spots transposed from podcast and radio. Overlooked amidst the Mark Zuckerberg Facebook hearings on Capitol Hill, revelations from Google and Amazon in April showed these two tech giants are finally tip-toeing into unique ways for brands to integrate with Alexa and Google Assistant.

It’s been a long road to get here. A year ago, a startup called VoiceLabs launched the first ad network for Alexa, rolling up 1,300 Skills (apps) and connecting them with brands like ESPN, Wendy’s and Progressive. The vision was to facilitate interactive ads, such as hyping up a basketball game happening that night and then asking if you’d like a reminder to tune in.

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