Pandora to test AI-powered interactive voice ads later this year

AI, AI Advertising, Pandora, Pandora AI, Voice Ads

A world where you can communicate with advertiser in real time is right around the corner.

Have you ever wanted to respond to an ad while streaming content? Maybe you want more information, or perhaps you just want to explain why it’s not a good ad to you. Whatever the case, Pandora users may soon be able to talk back to the platform’s audio advertisements in real time, thanks to the power of AI.

That’s the idea behind Pandora’s new partnership with San Francisco-based, voice-enabled ad platform Instreamatic. With the agreement, Pandora will begin testing interactive voice ads later this year.

Traditional audio ads are not clickable. As a result, advertisers have never really know how consumers react to the ads they buy on platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, etc. Do they ignore the ads? Do they mute them? Do they make purchases?

Instreamatic’s software may be a solution. Once implemented, Pandora users will be able to react to ads as they play by asking for more information, requesting to not hear the ad again, or skipping the advertisement altogether. The insight provided will strengthen Pandora’s advertising algorithm, as well as provide advertisers with useful feedback about their campaigns.  Plus, the new audio ads could help Pandora reach listeners who may be unable to engage with visual ads while cooking, working out or doing other activities. 

“The age of voice has arrived, yet there’s remained a stark need for meaningful consumer engagement — and measurable metrics — in the audio ad space,” said Stas Tushinski, Instreamatic.ai CEO, in a release. “We believe Instreamatic provides the ideal ad platform to serve this marketplace.”

The technology goes further than recognizing “yes” and “no” responses to prompts in advertising. Instreamatic’s AI functionality can study, interpret and understand user intent, and the platform will continue to learn and increase its vocabulary and predictive power with every interaction.

“Voice interactivity has already changed the way consumers interact with brands on smart speakers, and we believe voice will change the very nature of the way consumers interact with brands on Pandora,” added Pandora’s VP of Product Engagement, Eric Picard. “We intend to foster an ecosystem of demand-side technology parties to scale voice ads and working with Instreamatic to support this capability has been a true joy.”

If the trials are successful, it is likely other streaming services will implement similar technology in the near future. After all, data is king, and the more consumer feedback available to advertisers will inevitably produce better, more specific ad campaigns. Better ads lead to increased sales, and increased sales lead to more ad buys. Everyone (involved) wins!

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.