Prominent examples for the usage of third party services on Smart Speakers are Spotify or news channels. Interacting with their services leads to a data exchange between the manufacturer of your Smart Speaker and the service providing company. The data exchanged does not only include the intent of the user for pure functional purposes but also meta-data like location and IP-address, as well as transcripts of the voice command that initiated the service.
They details of the communication between the Smart Speaker device, the servers of the manufacturer and the third party depend on the product you are using. However, the device never directly establishes a connection to the servers of the third party company but always uses the manufacturers’ servers as a middleman. If the user asks for the service of, for example, Spotify, this intent is passed onto the servers of Spotify. From there on the relevant data is passed back to the servers of the manufacturer and the stream for the wanted song is started by the device.
Enabling services of third parties on a Smart Speaker allows the manufacturer to offer a broader variety of features. Since companies, like Spotify, have an interest in gathering data about their users as well, they only offer their services to the manufacturers if they can benefit from it. Understanding how you use the services of other companies also allows the manufacturer to build a better profile about you regarding your preferences and habits. This, in turn, enables them to create more accurate personalized advertisements.