Home Sweet (Connected) Home

Ron Rodrigues, Sr. Audio Strategist

Have you seen the great Simpsons episode where Grampa Simpson complains, “200 channels and nothing but cats”? If you’ve flipped through your TV guide lately, you know that this rings truer than ever. The endless channels cluttered with shows are causing Americans to cut cords, use DVRs, stream content and search for alternate forms of entertainment. Gaming, social media and audio are on the rise, heralding an on-demand world that begins in the home.

It’s also evident that the definition of “home” is evolving:

  • Home as an escape. We are beginning to view the home as a retreat from a kinetic, multi-tasking world. As a result, we eat more meals1, socialize2, and even educate ourselves3 at home more than before.
  • Home as an office. The number of telecommuters has doubled in the last decade4, saving on car expenses and the stress of daily driving.
  • Home for longer. As housing and education costs explode, young people are living with their parents for longer stretches.5

Because of this, in-home entertainment technology has blossomed; smart TVs and set-top boxes now rule, and our mobile devices are the “go-to” as we move about the home.

Smart Speakers — The Soundtrack to Together Time

The growth of the Connected Home was accelerated by the birth of the smart speaker. Unheard of just five years ago, 51 million Americans had access to a smart speaker at home at the start of 2018. Based on sales forecasts, we expect this number to balloon to 75 million before we celebrate New Year’s 2019.6

One of the major reasons we believe smart speakers have caught on so quickly is because they’re operated by the device we’ve been accustomed to using all our lives—our voices! Studies have shown that voice searches, for example, include twice as many words as typed searches.7 That’s because voice is the most natural and organic way for us to express a need.

Megan Lazovick, VP of Edison Research, warns marketers, “Don’t underestimate the value of ‘hands free.’ I’ve done a number of in-home studies with smart speaker owners, and they say these devices just make life easier. They make it easier to multi-task, such as hearing about today’s weather while getting dressed or listening to music while doing chores. It doesn’t seem like those little things should be life-changing, but somehow all those little things add up to something big.”

Smart speakers, with all their abilities to control home functions—from telling jokes to grocery list reminders—are now the proven “Swiss army knives” of home technology. But regardless of their endless list of capabilities, listening to music is the #1 activity performed on smart speakers.8

In addition, smart speakers are proving themselves to be more than just another device. Families tell us that smart speakers are changing the household dynamic and pulling them together in ways we haven’t seen before. Music, podcasts, the Jeopardy daily quiz or other cool content serve as the soundtrack for “together time” in the kitchen, living room or yard.

3669 HouseConcept blogCallOut v4

See full infographic here.


As our homes become more of a focal point in our lives, smart speakers and other smart devices are paving the way to increased audio usage. In-home usage now accounts for half of all daily audio consumption.

We see amazing opportunities for advertisers and smart speakers:

  • You’re reaching an engaged audience who relies on personalized listening to power activities around their home.
  • Two-way voice capabilities open intriguing possibilities for marketers to engage with their customers beyond the nominal “click.”
  • As households acquire more devices, there is greater access to all family members (including combinations of family members at once) and more ways to reach them in different “moments” of their lives.

How is your audio strategy leveraging the Power of Audio and the innovation of smart speakers? View our full Connected Home infographic here, or reach out to us today to learn more about our Connected Home audience solution.

Blog Sources 1Foodnetwork.com, September, 2018. 2Mintel, June, 2018. 3Inside Higher Ed, January 2018. 4USNews, February, 2018. 5Quartz, April, 2018. 6Pandora 2018 Definitive Guide to Audio 7Neil Patel blog 8Smart Speakers: Enhancing Family Life / Edison Research and Omnicom Media Group

Infographic Sources The Infinite Dial / Edison Research and Triton Digital Smart Speakers: Enhancing Family Life / Edison Research and Omnicom Media Group Pandora Internal Metrics, January 2018 * Of those who own a smart speaker and live with family ** Of those who own a smart speaker and have children *** Of those who listen to music on a smart speaker and live with family