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Smart Speakers Are Changing Listening Habits


New surveys from NPR and Edison Research confirm continued and rapid increases in ownership of voice-activated smart speakers,and reinforce the increasing impact these devices are having on consumer behavior across a variety of technologies and platforms. One-in-six Americans now has a Smart Speaker (16%), up 128% since January 2017 according to a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,010 persons ages 18 and older fielded after Christmas 2017. This new data from The Smart Audio Report is available now at npr.org/smartaudio.

The 2017 holiday season was a benchmark moment for Smart Speaker sales: 7% of Americans report acquiring at least one Smart Speaker between Black Friday and the end of December 2017, and 4% report acquiring their first Smart Speaker device during the holidays.

Amazon continues to dominate the Smart Speaker category. More than two-thirds of Smart Speaker owners report having an Echo, Dot or other Alexa-based product. One quarter of Smart Speaker owners report having a Google Assistant product such as Google Home or Google Home Mini.

Based on this survey, Smart Speaker adoption is occurring on pace with the rapid adoption of smartphones a decade ago. Apple's iPhone was introduced in Summer 2007. Three years later, Spring 2010, 14% of Americans owned a smartphone (Edison, Infinite Dial). Amazon's Echo, the first smart speaker on the market, was introduced in November 2014. Today, three years later, 16% of Americans own a smart speaker.

New survey data from The Smart Audio Report also reveals how voice-activation in the home is fueling adoption of smart technology broadly ? including smart home applications ? and affecting how often consumers engage with other platforms throughout the day. According to a survey of 800 Smart Speaker owners during the Fall of 2017:

  • 30% say the Smart Speaker is replacing time spent with TV
  • 71% are listening to more audio since getting a Smart Speaker
  • 66% entertain family/friends with the Smart Speaker
  • 64% of owners who plan to buy additional Smart Speakers want to use them to control smart home devices
  • 44% of Smart Speaker owners are using the voice assistant on their phones more since getting a Smart Speaker
  • 61% are interested in getting Smart Speaker technology in their cars These, and other key findings from The Smart Audio Report, will be presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on January 10th. Following the research presentation, representatives from NPR, Edison, Amazon and Google will join a panel discussion on the growth and impact of Smart Speakers.

"We are growing the NPR brand by meeting listeners where they are ? driving to work, sitting at a desk, relaxing at home, walking outside," said Meg Goldthwaite, Chief Marketing Officer of NPR. "When people are familiar with NPR, they love NPR. So, we need to increase this familiarity and love by showing listeners how they can tune into NPR everywhere. It's pivotal to understand how people listen today ? how are media habits and diets changing? Commissioning studies like The Smart Audio Report allows us to stay ahead of the curve, meaningfully connect with listeners, and continue finding ways to create a more informed public."

"Voice-activated speakers are perhaps the most dynamic sector not only in the audio space but in consumer electronics in general," said Tom Webster, Sr. VP at Edison Research. "In addition to all of the search-based conveniences and the home automation capabilities, they are increasing access to all manner of digital audio. Our research is finding very different behaviors within 'Smart Speaker-enabled homes' once people acquire these technologies, and I look forward to discussing these changes at our CES panel."

Quick Snaps
WHBC-FM/Canton: WHBC-AM (News/Talk 1480) and WHBC-FM (Mix 94.1)/Canton, OH, along with AultCare raised $213,946 for Wishes Can Happen and AultCare. The stations joined forces once again to broadcast live August 9-10 for 36 hours in the parking lot at Springbrook Plaza, Whipple Avenue NW, Canton.