Must-Know Consumer Electronics Trends that Emerged During the Pandemic

Cassy D. Hough

As we are well past the one-year mark of the pandemic, it’s clear that technology has helped make us feel more at ease with the “staying in” lifestyle. Think about your own habits: maybe you added Disney+ to your list of must-have subscriptions, or perhaps you downloaded a new food delivery app. The way we use technology in our lives has definitely changed.

To better understand new consumer electronic trends, we tapped into first-party data via Soundboard—our proprietary panel of 75,000 listeners—to get real-time responses from the consumers you’re trying to reach. Through our Consumer Electronics Soundboard Study, we saw that 3 in 4 listeners purchased new devices during the pandemic. Since the last time we ran this study in Q3 2019, Pandora listeners now own more smart TVs (up 8%), smart speakers (up 8%), and fitness trackers (up 6%).

Let’s talk about smart speakers, in particular. Smart speaker owners and seekers are currently on the rise. Nearly 1 in 3 users 18+ are considering buying a smart speaker, and multicultural audiences are more likely to consider buying (Black Americans index 187 and Hispanic Americans index 145). This means that the opportunity to advertise to a new subset of tech users is at your fingertips.

As a whole, Pandora listeners 18+ are highly connected, owning on average 9 tech devices. It may seem like a lot, but take a look around you right now. In addition to your mobile phone, we bet you probably have a few of these devices: a smart TV, a laptop, a smart speaker, wireless earbuds, noise-canceling headphones, an extra monitor, a tablet—not to mention kids’ tech products, too. In fact, parents with children <18 are extremely connected, owning on average 11 tech devices!

Takeaways for Marketers:

1. Consider different audio devices for your messaging. Remember, on average, our listeners have 9 consumer electronic devices—and guess what? Our partnerships allow us to run audio on the majority of these devices. Whether it’s a smart speaker or a fitness tracker, ask yourself the question: “How is my message being communicated to consumers in a moment that matters?”

2. The audience dictates the message. Selling smart speakers? Stay culturally relevant, authentic, and approachable. Our very own Studio Resonate just released a “Stand for Sonic Diversity” pledge, which addresses how race shapes the audio that we consume each day. Learn more by leveraging this in-house resource of ours.

3. Act Quickly This last year has shown marketers that being nimble and adapting quickly can really pay off. We’re here to be a partner and brainstorm ideas that will best fit your needs.

Stay tuned for next year’s Consumer Electronic Soundboard, where we dive into the newest electronic trends. Our predictions? We think AR/VR headsets and connected spectacles will be the next boom. But, for now, try out a smart speaker at home if you don’t have one. It’s a gift for the multitasker.

Source: Pandora Soundboard, Consumer Electronics Study Wave 1, A18+ (N=2,117), September 2019; Consumer Electronics Study Wave 2, A18+ (N=1,954), January 2021. Base: Total A18+