Adverts are everywhere, because its one of the only ways companies can actually make money from their products - be they apps, YouTube channels, news websites, Google, or whatever. There's one place ads haven't shown up, though, and that's Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant - and if a new report is anything to go by they're not likely to pop up anytime soon.
According to a report from The Information (via Ubergizmo), Sony found that out the hard way when it approached Amazon about running an ad for its Jeopardy Alexa skill/game. Amazon reportedly refused Sony's refused request, leaving the company frustrated and feeling it couldn't profit from the skill it had created.
Adverts on virtual assistant aren't unheard of, and there have been times where they have gone wrong - just ask Google. Amazon's reasoning was that advertising could alienate the userbase, fears that are far from unfounded. After all, it's going to be infuriating if you need your Echo to control bits if your smart home and it won't stop playing an advert for The Grand Tour or a Fire TV stick.
That said, it's not like developers can't make money from their skills. There are premium skills available, which require users to subscribe for access (unless they're prime subscribers). Sony's Jeopardy skills is one such skill, so it's not like the company can't make any money from it. Clearly, though, it wants to expand and reach out to a wider audience.
There may be a time where Amazon recants, and fills its service with adverts of some kind or another, but today is not that day. It's probably one of the reasons why Alexa is doing so well in the battle for virtual assistant supremacy. People hate adverts, and it's not like you can install adblock into your smart speaker. [The Information via Ubergizmo]