Pandora to Test AI-Powered Interactive Voice Ads

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Pandora users may soon be able to talk back to the platform's audio advertisements -- by asking for more information, responding negatively to skip the ad and more.

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.

Because traditional audio ads aren't clickable, it's difficult for advertisers to measure whether or not listeners who heard the ad later sought out more information or, better yet, made a purchase. But interactive voice ads could solve that problem by allowing listeners to engage hands-free directly with the advertisement, and feeding those metrics back to the advertiser. 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, CEO, in a release. "We believe Instreamatic provides the ideal ad platform to serve this marketplace.”

The Pandora ads will also benefit from Instreamatic's voice AI capabilities, which enable customer conversations to go beyond merely "yes" or "no." 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 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.”


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