Country Listeners Bringing AM/FM Loyalty To Smart Speakers According To Edison Research

Edison Research presented a comprehensive look at the usage by country listeners of smart speakers like Alexa at the Country Radio Seminar which found that country fans are enthusiastic about smart speakers and that 48 percent who owned the speakers had listened to AM/FM radio on their speakers in the week before they were contacted.

The study unveiled, however, that broadcast radio isn’t often country listeners’ first ask of Alexa, and that country stations must do more to encourage listeners to ask for the order. The study also found that despite broadcasters’ growing efforts to develop smart speaker skills and more frequent on-air mentions, only 25 percent of country smart speaker owners were aware of an AM/FM radio station that offers a smart speaker skill.

Music is a main motivator for country listeners on smart speakers, with 96 percent saying listening to music was a reason for wanting the device. And of the 81 percent who said they used the device to play music last week, 72 percent said they used it to play country. Country listeners who own smart speakers also say they listen to more music than overall respondents — 6 hours and 11 minutes a week, roughly an hour more than others.

“Yes, the adoption of these devices into homes is a huge opportunity for radio,” says Edison Research president Larry Rosin, who co-presented the findings with Edison VP Megan Lazovick. “But don’t be complacent, on Smart Speakers you are competing on the ‘Infinite Dial,’ where all audio is available. Listening to your station is highly unlikely to be the first thing a Smart Speaker user will seek out. It is up to you to remind them.”

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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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