Pandora Believes Listeners Will Interact With its Voice Ads

Pandora plans to test new interactive advertising technology that would allow listeners to engage directly with its “voice ads” by speaking aloud. Pandora listeners could request additional information about a product or service being promoted, for example, or request skipping the ad altogether. The beta test, powered by ad-tech firm Instreamatic, is expected to launch later this year. Instreamatic provides an interactive ad platform built on its Voice AI Core to help brands and marketers “manage, measure and monetize voice-enabled audio advertising.”

“Unlike web and mobile ads — which can be measured through things like impressions and clicks — traditional audio ads aren’t clickable,” reports TechCrunch. “That means advertisers don’t know for sure how many people who heard the ad later went to seek out more information, or make a purchase. Interactive voice ads could change that.”

Consumers are becoming more comfortable interacting with digital assistants currently available via their smart speakers and mobile phones, which could help the introduction of interactive voice ads.

Instreamatic’s AI tech enables consumers to interact with more than a simple “yes” or “no.” “Using technology like machine learning and natural language understanding,” notes TechCrunch, “the ads understand user intent — and this ability improves the more customers engage with them. For Pandora, the idea is that its advertisers could target listeners at times they aren’t typically able to respond — like when they’re out running, at the gym, driving or cooking.”

“Pandora is deeply investing in voice advertising and is driving the market forward by facilitating an ecosystem,” said Pandora exec Eric Picard. “Pandora is building a comprehensive voice solution across our consumer-facing offerings with advertising services on top of it to enable our own ‘first party’ offering as well as ‘third-party vendors’ such as Instreamatic and AdsWizz to plug in. Our expectation is that the buy-side — advertisers and agencies — are going to want to do ‘build-once-buy-everywhere’ solutions for voice ads just like they have for other markets, and Instreamatic is the first company focused on supporting buy-side voice ads across publishers.”