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TechCrunch has a story about how Pandora is in the process of developing interactive advertising with several vendor partners that will actually allow - even encourage - the listener to talk back to them.

Pandora is hoping is that listeners in a place where they cannot click on a link, like out jogging or in the car, will use the technology to ask for or decline more information about products being advertised.

The story says that “unlike web and mobile ads — which can be measured through things like impressions and clicks — traditional audio ads aren’t clickable. That means advertisers don’t know for sure how many people who heard the ad later went to seek out more information, or make a purchase.

“Interactive voice ads could change that … Instead of simply airing an advertiser’s message, an interactive voice ad could ask the listener if they want to learn more about the product. For example, an ad about a new smartphone could include a verbal call-to-action inviting listeners to learn about its features. The listener would respond out loud to the ad to get more information. Of they could respond negatively to skip the ad.”

The belief seems to be that people’s comfort level with smart speaker systems such as Amazon’s Alexa-powered service, Google Home and Apple’s Siri has gotten to the point where this sort of technological advance will be seen as the logical, even welcomed, next step.
KC's View:
I think we’re seeing a lot of movement in the voice-driven tech segment, illustrated by this story and the one from yesterday about Walmart teaming up with Google to allow for voice ordering of groceries.

It’s funny. I recently hosted a series of technology sessions at the National Grocers Association (NGA) convention in San Diego, and the one that seemed to generate the most skepticism from the audience was the one about voice ordering … even though Dan Bourgault of Replenium and I demonstrated on stage how it worked, especially in the replenishment space. Maybe now, with the movement we;’re seeing, some of those folks will have a better understanding of what they’re facing, and how they need to either embrace this technology or figure out how to compete against it.

Agnosticism ain’t an option.