The Pandora app is about to get easier to control, provided you don't mind yelling at your phone. Like everything else under the sun, the app is getting voice controls. Thanks to a partnership with SoundHound, you'll be able to ask Pandora to play different tracks, modify playlists, and more.

The new Pandora voice mode has SoundHound's "Houndify" engine at its core. You can launch it by saying "Hey Pandora" while the app is open. Then what? SoundHound has provided a handy list of several example commands that will work with Pandora.

  • Control requests to change station, control volume, skip or pause music, and other basic navigation commands.
  • Thematic requests to deliver 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.

Pandora voice mode starts rolling out today on both iOS and Android. However, only a subset of users will get the feature right now. A full rollout will happen in the near future.

Press Release

Pandora Launches Voice Mode in Mobile App

Beta Access to New Voice-Enabled Smart Assistant Available Today

OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pandora (NYSE:P), the largest streaming music provider in the U.S., today introduced Voice Mode, a new, native smart assistant that allows listeners to control Pandora’s mobile app and enjoy new music discovery using simple voice commands, providing an intuitive, hands-free experience tailored for the unique tastes of each user. Starting today, Pandora will roll out access to Voice Mode to select listeners on iOS and Android, with general availability for all mobile users coming soon.

“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.”

By saying the wake phrase “Hey Pandora” followed by a request, users can effortlessly control and continually refine their listening experience by just speaking naturally. Voice Mode allows listeners to seamlessly enjoy the full range of their Pandora experience hands-free whether they’re driving, cooking, working out, or entertaining friends.

Voice Mode uses advanced Natural Language Understanding technology to respond to a wide array of requests with the perfect music for each user’s personal tastes, not just what’s widely popular, via Pandora’s pioneering music recommendation technology.

Types of requests include:

  • 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.

Pandora’s uniquely predictive understanding of individual listener preferences is powered by its Music Genome Project – the richest dataset of music-listening information in the world. For Voice Mode, Pandora combines this deep user knowledge, an expert in-house curation team, and advanced natural language search and personalized machine learning search algorithms to provide the best and most personalized listening experience available.

For Voice Mode, Pandora has partnered with SoundHound Inc.’s Houndify voice and conversational AI platform featuring its proprietary Speech-to-Meaning™ and Deep Meaning Understanding™ technologies, which deliver unprecedented speed, accuracy, and intelligence in voice recognition and understanding.