Voice-enabled televisions, music, and entertainment apps
Jul 09, 2021

Entertainment Industry Casts Voice Assistants in Customer Support Role

The entertainment industry, a huge source of global revenue comprising film, television, radio, and print media, is using voice assistants to improve their customer experiences. According to Statista, the entertainment market is forecasted to reach $2.1 trillion by the end of 2021, which rose from $2 trillion in 2020. The industry, unlike many others, saw a slight increase in revenue during the pandemic due to the rising use of streaming services. 

With the exponential growth in usage of streaming platforms, customers are increasingly expecting fast, relevant search results, personalized experiences, and quick access to their favorite media. Voice assistants are innovating how customers use their televisions, music, and entertainment apps by providing fast, convenient, and hands-free experiences. 

While entertainment is a single umbrella industry, the companies within it have their own unique challenges and needs for voice AI technology. We’ll dive into each area to understand the advances, trends, and uses of voice assistants in television, music, and entertainment apps, including how:

  • Television voice control offers fast, hands-free experiences
  • Music streaming services personalize preferences with voice AI
  • Voice-enabled entertainment apps create convenience and ease of use

Voice-controlled smart televisions deliver more than entertainment

Consumers are increasingly demanding more advanced, multi-functional televisions. A report by Hub Entertainment Research stated that smart TVs are now in 70% of TV households, showing that intelligent televisions are actively replacing older technology. These devices, equipped with both speech recognition and visual displays, are poised to become the hub of the smart home and a center for interactions with other services.

The trends toward smart TV usage include increased usage of voice-enabled remotes and interfaces as the standard for how consumers interact with these devices. In fact, according to Statista, 24% of consumers use voice assistants on their TV or remote. As TVs extend their functionality to include access to information from the cloud and purchasing opportunities, voice-enabled smart TVs have the potential of replacing smart speakers in the home and in hotels.

24% of consumers use voice assistants on their TV or remote.


Currently, voice-enabled TVs or remote controls allow users to turn up and down the volume, change channels and settings, access streaming services, and pause and turn off the TV, all hands-free. A 2019 Smart Speaker User Survey found that the most common use case for voice-controlling the TV is turning it on or off, followed by changing the volume, searching for a show, and playing it on the TV. The trajectory of the smart TV is closely associated with the first smart speakers that began as convenient ways to listen to music, set a timer, and get the weather report.

As smart TV manufacturers implement advanced voice AI technology, functionality and opportunities will increase. In addition to basic functions, custom voice assistants built with advanced voice AI technologies can understand complex and compound questions and remember previously stated questions—making them more conversational. 

Using conversational voice AI technology, TV consumers can say things like: 

“Search for movies that are comedies released before 2010 starring Adam Sandler.”

Followed by: “Add movies starring Will Ferrell.”

Or: “Find me reality tv shows that aren’t romantic, have at least three seasons, and are rated four stars or higher.”

Followed by: “Remove any that are outdoor survival.”

Recently, VIZIO partnered with SoundHound Inc’s Houndify Voice AI platform to voice-enable their SmartCast TVs. The VIZIO Voice Remote is an example of how the smart TV is evolving to become a personal assistant with all the functions and capabilities for controlling televisions and connection to the cloud to allow users to check the current weather, sports scores, and access other cloud-based information. 

Houndify Entertainment Infographic

Music is tuning into voice AI

From the first smart speaker user until now, finding and listening to music continues to be the most popular use case for voice assistants. A study by Adobe Analytics found that the most common voice activity is asking for music, with 70% of users requesting to play songs. Voicebot.ai reported that audio apps are the second most cited category for voice-enabled mobile apps usage—navigation is number one. 

The most common voice activity is asking for music, with 70% of users requesting to play songs.

Adobe Analytics

With voice AI, users can search for music, turn the volume up and down, pause, repeat, and skip songs. In some applications, users can also ask more complex questions like, “Play party music” where the voice assistant needs to know the user’s specific tastes and preferences to personalize the experience. 

Personalization, where a voice assistant designs interactions to meet users’ individual requirements, is a key aspect of voice-enabled music apps. To achieve the highest level of responsiveness to deliver a frictionless experience for its listeners, Pandora partnered with SoundHound Inc. to voice-enable its music app. Users can ask Pandora’s Voice Mode to “Play something chill” and receive a playlist completely unique to their musical desires based on their past play history. 

Customized playlists and voice-enabled interactions combine to deliver superior experiences and results delivered quickly and hands-free. Personalization, executed with care and customer content increases loyalty and brand affinity. According to Salesforce, 70% of consumers say a company’s understanding of their personal needs influences their loyalty.

70% of consumers say a company’s understanding of their personal needs influences their loyalty.


In addition, accuracy, a top success metric of voice assistants according to 96% of entertainment leaders in the Opus Research Survey, is also an essential element of Pandora’s Voice Mode. Without accuracy, users will quickly become frustrated and abandon the voice assistant, maybe forever. According to Voicebot.ai, Pandora delivered passing results on 76% of utterances, beating Amazon and Spotify on accuracy.

Pandora’s Voice Mode also employs a custom wake word of “Hey Pandora,” which directly engages the user with the brand and promotes brand loyalty and recognition. In fact, 87% of entertainment leaders in the Opus Research Survey considered a custom wake word important, showing the value of consistent brand experiences. 

Interested in learning more about Pandora’s Voice Mode and Houndify technology? Watch this demo to see it in action

Apps are installing voic technology

Entertainment apps are using voice assistants to offer quick, convenient, hands-free customer experiences. Customers may feel more inclined to use the app or specific features if it is fast and doesn’t require a long series of types and swipes. According to Voicebot.ai, over 45% of consumers said they would “very much” or that “it would be nice” to have voice assistant features within their favorite mobile apps. 

Whether the voice assistant is general for the entire app or for a specific function, more and more companies are realizing the benefits of voice-enabled technology. In fact, mobile apps are the number one device that’s voice-enabled in the entertainment and media industry, with 89% of entertainment leaders in the Opus Research Survey reporting that their voice assistant is deployed in a mobile app.

89% of entertainment leaders reported that their voice assistant was deployed in a mobile app.

Opus Research Survey

Snapchat is an example of an entertainment app using voice AI technology to create Voice Scan for a specific feature on their app. With Voice Scan, Snapchatters can quickly find the right Lenses to augment their faces or the world around them just by asking. Snapchatters can simply say, “Turn my hair blue,” “ Make it rain,” or even “Show me a tiger” to find the perfect Lens. The voice assistant makes searching for Lenses when trying to get the perfect angle easier, quicker, and more convenient by not having to pause a pose to search.

According to entertainment leaders in the Opus Research Survey, the greatest end-user benefits of voice assistants are better customer experiences, the ability to ask for things more naturally, hands-free access, increased accessibility, and customer satisfaction. By voice-enabling televisions, music, and entertainment apps, companies are realizing the customer and business benefits of quick, convenient, and hands-free experiences. Brands without a voice-first strategy should consider how custom voice assistants improve the customer experience, increase brand loyalty and repeat usage before their customers turn to a voice-enabled competitor. 

Interested in learning more about voice assistants in the entertainment industry? Check out our infographic, Consistent User Experiences Top Entertainment and Media Voice Roadmap.

Recently, Opus Research published a research report based on a global survey of 320 business leaders in 8 industries conducted to get the pulse of the state of voice assistant implementation and the trends toward custom voice AI solutions. You can read the report in its entirety and see the on-demand webinar to learn, “The Business Value of Customized Voice Assistants”.

At SoundHound Inc., we have all the tools and expertise needed to create custom voice assistants and a consistent brand voice. Explore Houndify’s independent voice AI platform at Houndify.com and register for a free account. Want to learn more? Talk to us about how we can help bring your voice strategy to life.

Kristen is a content writer with a passion for storytelling and marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, reading, and spending time with her nieces and nephew.

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