Pandora unveiled its own Alexa-style voice assistant in January this year, working with tech partner SoundHound to launch a ‘Hey Pandora’ voice-control feature in its mobile app. Six months later, the feature is now rolling out to all of Pandora’s mobile users on iOS and Android, whether they’re on the free or subscription tiers of the service.
The feature lets people speak to cue up songs, stations and podcasts, as well as vaguer enquiries like ‘Hey Pandora, play some music to start my day’; ‘Hey Pandora, play something for my workout’; and ‘Hey Pandora, play something happy for cooking’.
It’s not the only voice-focused initiative that Pandora is cooking up, though. In April, the company announced that it was testing “interactive voice advertising” with another partner, Instreamatic. “For example, a listener is delivered an ad with a verbal call-to-action to learn about new features of a new smartphone. The listener can respond to that ad simply by speaking aloud – either affirmatively to get more information or negatively to skip the ad,” being one of the examples given. That’s due to start testing this year, so Pandora will be keen to get as many listeners as possible using its voice mode in the meantime, so they’re prepped for ads.