Totally Cool: Pandora Wants You to Talk to Its Interactive Ads!

An illustration of Pandora asking for microphone access.
Pandora

Oh Wendy’s, I’d love to hear a longer advertisement about chicken nuggets! Pandora is testing new interactive voice ads that prompt you to say “yes” or “no” to questions. In a press release, Pandora says that the ads “capture attention” and increase engagement while listeners are driving.

The ads follow a very simple format. They ask you if you’re interested in hearing about a product, you answer “yes” or “no,” and the ad continues to bug you or stops in its tracks. You can also stay silent—the ad will end if it doesn’t detect a response. But if you’re like me, you already scream “NO!” every time an ad comes on, so this shouldn’t be too big of an adjustment.

Subscribers on an ad-free plan won’t run into the voice ads. But users on ad-supported plans may find themselves talking to a recording from Hellmann’s Mayo or Comcast (talking to a Comcast ad gives me Black Mirror vibes, by the way).

If you’re an ad-supported user who wants to avoid interactive ads, then you have to turn off Pandora’s Voice Mode, which allows you to look up songs with voice commands. You could also uninstall and reinstall the Pandora app and press “Don’t Allow” when it asks for microphone access. That said, Pandora is starting slow with its voice ads, so you may not run into them during testing.

Source: Pandora via TechCrunch

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