Pandora is planning to start testing voice-powered ads to allow marketers to engage listeners conversationally and make money off it. The streaming platform has liaised with Instreamatic.ai, the ad tech firm, to make use of its voice command feature.
Voice-enabled ads on the music streaming platform will allow listeners to respond verbally to a call to action from a sponsor. The listener can choose to find out more, for example, about the product in question, they can skip the ad, or they can order the product.
Advertisers will be better able to track audio ad responses. In that sense, they will be able to compare to video spots, banners, sponsored links, and native ads. Instreamatic.ai uses artificial intelligence and NLP (natural language processing) tech to add conversational features to ads.
Pandora’s move to introduce voice-activated ads will boost their appeal to advertisers because the service will add other targeting features. Music streaming services look to have a steady income from subscribers, but they also get to many people who are okay listening to ads if that will grant them free music. Marketers can reach said listeners using audio spots, but the interactivity so far has been limited to encouraging the user to visit a sit. The collaboration between Pandora and Instreamatic.ai will close the loop between offering the audio ad and providing an opportunity for the listener to respond with direct voice commands. That kind of interactivity will make it possible to track ROIs and engage potential customers in money-making activities conversationally.
The news of the ads comes after Pandora decides to allow advertisers to target specific devices with their messages including smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home along with smart TVs and gaming consoles. The ability to draw in money from brands who want to connect with voice users could help Pandora to compete better with Apple Music and Spotify.
Other companies have introduced ad products which bridge the gap between audio formats like podcasts and reaching the customer using voice commands. The tech company AI music and Spark Foundry, just last month, rolled out an AI-powered solution which automates ad creation based on what users are listening to. Cox Communications, a partner with Sympaphonic Ads, has boosted engagement and lowered the costs and production time using the feature.
The interest in voice activation in advertising for Pandora speaks to the popularity of smart speakers in the market which is projected to grow by 15% this year to get to 74.2 million users. Such devices are powered by virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa. However, Bloomberg reports that platforms have produced few successes in consumer engagement so far.
Only 28% of the people who have such speakers use them to buy a product according to a study by Pymnts.com. Still, voice commerce is expected to shoot up over $80 billion every year by 2023. However, the strength of this technology lies in digital media and not physical goods.