Pandora plans to test voice-powered ads that will let listeners verbally respond to an advertiser’s call to action. By eliminating the additional step of texting or visiting a website, voice-activated advertising can close the gap from ad to purchase, streamlining direct response and likely improving results.
Pandora has been working with ad-tech company Instreamatic.ai on ads that respond to voice commands. Instreamatic.ai CEO and co-founder Stas Tushinskiy says the technology might look something like this:
- You’re listening to streaming audio and a song ends. An ad says, “Hey, there is a new iPhone on the market… Are you interested in learning more?” You can respond “yes” to hear an iPhone ad, or respond “no,” letting the platform know that it shouldn’t be feeding you iPhone ads.
- Or your podcast takes a commercial break. Instead of playing a pre-produced commercial, you’re asked what type of advertisement you would prefer—food or travel, for instance—so you can listen to ads that are interesting and relevant to you.
- Or you’re listening to streaming audio as you pass a Starbucks. Your phone’s GPS knows this. Your phone says, “You’re about to pass a Starbucks—how about a coffee?” You respond, “Are there any discounts?” Your phone displays a coupon you can screenshot and scan at the register.
As voice-activated advertising gains momentum and its results are tracked, advertisers will likely have even more reason to get excited about audio.