Spotify could employ AI-generated voices to read you personalized ads

Spotify mobile app with Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

AI is all over the place right now, and it’s only going to spread further as companies realize just what they can accomplish with the technology. Spotify is one of the many businesses jumping on the AI bandwagon, and it sounds like there are plans to expand that. Plans that may include using AI to read out ads.

This revelation comes from Bill Simmons, founder of Spotify-owned podcast network The Ringer (via Insider). During an episode of his own podcast, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons confirmed that Spotify is developing AI tools designed to mimic hosts’ voices — all so they can be used to serve targeted ads to listeners.

"I don't think Spotify is going to get mad at me for this, but we're developing that stuff," Simmons said. "There is going to be a way to use my voice for the ads. You have to obviously give the approval for the voice, but it opens up, from an advertising standpoint, all these different great possibilities."

While Simmons didn’t go into specifics, utilizing AI in this way could allow the creation of ads with much deeper personalization. But in a way that may be faster and cheaper than hiring and recording a human being — especially if it's the voice of a celebrity or well-known figure.

That way Spotify could create commercials for specific cities, neighborhoods, or possibly even directed personally at you. It all depends on what data the streaming service has, and how easy and costly these ads are to create.

Spotify could create commercials for specific cities, neighborhoods, or possibly even directed personally at you.

Personally I hope ads don’t end up with quite that level of hyper-targeting. It would be pretty creepy to hear a Spotify advert call you out by name.

Simmons also talked about how AI could make podcasts more accessible, thanks to improved translation technology. He even speculated that an AI that trained on his previous work, written and in podcasting, may one day be able to create an all-new original episode of his podcast.

Spotify told Insider that it has nothing specific to announce, but it’s no secret that the company has invested in AI technologies very recently. The Spotify DJ uses AI to mimic the feel of a traditional radio station, offering songs it thinks you’ll enjoy and adding personalized AI-generated commentary between each one.

That’s likely just the tip of the proverbial iceberg where Spotify and AI are concerned, especially if what Simmons said is true. Especially now that the AI arms race is heating up.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.