[UPDATED] Pandora has added Voice Mode, a native smart assistant that allows listeners to control its mobile streaming apps using voice commands. While most music streaming services can be controlled via third party voice apps like Alexa and Google Assistant, only Pandora and Amazon offer it within their own app.
Users do not need a Premium account to access Voice Mode. Pandora will start rolling out access to select listeners on iOS and Android today, with general availability for all mobile users coming soon.
Last year, Amazon Music added in-app voice control via Alexa. Pandora’s says its Voice Mode offers more functionality including open-ended queries, interactive requests and directional requests.
“Pandora is the leader in personalized audio entertainment, and millions of our listeners are already loving the experience we’ve created on smart speakers and other voice-enabled connected devices,” said Chris Phillips, Chief Product Officer, Pandora. “With Voice Mode, we are introducing an even more natural and conversational way for listeners to discover new music and enhance their experience directly in the Pandora mobile app, like getting recommendations from a friend who really knows you.”
How It Works: SoundHound
For Voice Mode, Pandora has partnered with SoundHound’s Houndify voice and conversational AI platform with proprietary Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding voice recognition and understanding technologies.
By saying the wake phrase “Hey Pandora” followed by a request, users can control and refine their listening experience.
- Control requests to change stations, control volume, skip or pause music, and other basic navigation commands.
- Thematic requests delivering personalized music based on each user’s unique tastes, moods, and favorite activities like “play something for my workout” or “play music for relaxing.”
- Open-ended requests like “play something different,” “play something I like” or “play more like this.”
- Basic requests for a specific artist, song, station, podcast or playlist like “play new music by…” or “play my happy jams playlist.”
- Interactive requests like “what song is this?” or directional requests like “add this song to my party playlist” or “I like this” to give a thumbs-up.