Pandora Taps Instreamatic to Test Voice-Enabled Ads

Instreamatic announced in a Medium post on Monday that Pandora will begin testing voice-enabled ad technology offered by the company. The voice ads will be delivered to Pandora mobile app users and address a commonly recognized problem with audio advertising around consumer engagement. Because consumers are typically not looking at a screen while listening, prompts to encourage click-throughs or other calls-to-action involve more friction than with traditional visual advertising. The Medium post expands on this idea saying,

“Audio advertising faces a pervasive “click challenge” when it comes to measuring and attributing the impact of ad campaigns. Unlike visual digital advertising published across web, mobile, and video interfaces, audio itself cannot be clicked. Instreamatic’s platform solves this challenge by allowing advertisers to utilize interactive voice ads that prompt consumers to naturally and verbally respond to offers. 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.

Pandora recognizes this, which prompted the engagement with Instreamatic and “an ecosystem of demand-side technology parties.” Eric Picard, VP Product Management, Pandora, commented:

“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.”

Pandora Goes Long on Voice

Pandora has for some time been targeting voice as a strategic area for investment. In August 2017, the company announced that it had 1.6 million smart speaker listeners and later that year began offering ads targeting up to 10 million smart speaker users. Last summer, Pandora ran a promotion that offered its ad-free premium service for 90 days to new Google Home users. That was followed in January 2019 with the introduction of SoundHound’s Houndify voice assistant integrated into Pandora’s mobile app.

Instreamatic has suggested that its voice-enabled ads are 10 times more effective than traditional ads. In a trial run with GPM radio in Russia, the company compared the performance of voice-enabled ads to traditional audio ads. The results reported in a Medium article by the company stated:

“They started running voice-activated campaigns in December 2018 and while representing only 1% of the impressions, these ads brought in 10% of total revenue within the digital audio segment for the given month.”

Another Instreamatic test conducted by Alfa-Bank in Russia reported a 5% conversion rate for it’s NEXT MasterCard promotion. TechCrunch reported that Instreamatic also has an agreement with Global’s DAX radio advertising unit which could potentially deliver significant scale through Tune-In and AccuRadio.


Pandora Smart Speaker Listeners Grow to 1.6 Million

Pandora Offers Ad Targeting of Millions of Amazon Echo and Google Home Users

Pandora Introduces Voice Mode Built on SoundHound’s Houndify Conversational AI Platform