Smart Audio Report: Biggest Takeaways

Think of what homes today look and sound like: Podcasts streaming while dinner is cooking, upbeat jams on in the morning, the latest hits station playing during a party. Audio is more popular than ever, and this means more devices – namely, smart speakers. These voice-commanded, wireless gadgets are quickly becoming common household items. In fact, 21% of Americans currently own a smart speaker – that’s around 53 million people.1 To better understand how people are using them, NPR and Edison conducted some research on user behavior and trends relevant to smart speakers. Their rise in popularity presents some amazing opportunities for advertisers. Here are our key takeaways:

Audio is always going

People use smart speakers… All. The. Time. Since they allow us to play audio with ease and control, people use them while doing a variety of activities. The most common? Chores (74%), cooking (66%), getting ready for the day (59%), entertaining (56%), and working out (42%).1 Obviously, any moment can – and is – improved by audio.

Majorly for music

Owners love the voice command feature. With it, they can control their device hands-free while staying engaged in other tasks. Some favorite commands are asking a smart speaker to get the weather (75%), or answer a general question (74%). But the top request? Play music (77%).1

Owners can’t get enough

Since having a smart speaker makes listening to audio more accessible, 55% of people agree that they are listening to more audio since getting a smart speaker. Owning a smart speaker also means… likely owning more smart speakers. In 2017, only 17% of owners had three or more smart speakers, but in 2018, this number jumped to 30%.1 Once people have given smart speakers a try, they tend to be fans.

Users aren’t aware of the world of possibilities…

Owners are learning how to use their speakers, from their speakers. 18% of users discover new skills from companies advertising that they have a smart speaker skill.1 This means that brands can promote and drive awareness of their new voice app or skill, via ads.

Audio is the main focus

Like all audio ads, each particular delivery can be improved and enhanced. 69% of smart speaker users only use devices without screens.1 This means that a message should be focused on its audio component.

And, what’s more, these devices are projected to become even more popular. The amount of smart speakers in U.S. households grew a whopping 78% in one year—2018 saw 14 million new owners. Smart speakers present a new opportunity for interacting with your audience. With these unique devices, people can use their voice to play music, make requests, set timers. Their rapidly rising prominence reflects our movement towards an audio first world. What will your brand’s voice be on this new platform? Reach out to Pandora today to have your message playing on smart speakers next!

1The Smart Audio Report, NPR & Edison Research, Spring 2019