Pandora launches in-app voice assistant - Mobile World Live

Pandora launches in-app voice assistant

15 JAN 2019

Music streaming service Pandora partnered with SoundHound to test a native smart assistant through which users can choose what to listen to using voice commands.

The feature is available for both iOS and Android users and is expected to be available on a wider scale soon.

Pandora made use of SoundHound’s Houndify voice and conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform.

Chris Phillips, Pandora’s chief product officer, said: “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.”

TechCrunch said millions of listeners use Pandora via smart speakers including Amazon Echo and this is what inspired the company to launch its own voice assistant.

Users can control a number of features including changing radio stations and volume; asking the app to play music based on themes or mood; or adding a song to a playlist, the company said in a statement.

The company added that Pandora combines deep user knowledge; an in-house curation team; advanced natural language search; and personalised machine learning search algorithms to provide a personalised listening experience.

Rival Spotify also puts a lot of emphasis on personalising its user experience and has its own voice mode option, though this is only available for paid users. In Pandora’s case, it will be available to all.

In September 2018, satellite radio company SiriusXM said it was preparing to acquire Pandora in a move which would value the latter at approximately $3.5 billion.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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