NPR And Edison Research Release Spring Smart Audio Report

NPR and Edison Research has released the Smart Audio Report 2019, which reveals how smart speaker user behavior and perceptions are evolving as owners ‘settle in’ with their devices and the market matures out of its introductory phase.

According to the survey, seven in 10 smart speaker owners use their device daily despite common concerns around security and privacy, and those same factors are leading reasons non-owners have not acquired a device.

“We are starting to see more pragmatic usage of these devices,” said Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research. “The longer people have these devices, the less experimentation they do with them — but the more ingrained into everyday life these devices become.”

Among the over 53 million smart speaker owners 18 and up in the U.S.:

  • 69% of smart speaker owners use their device daily, and households with children are even more likely to use them daily
  • Smart speaker owners who have owned the device for 2+ years use an average seven (7) skills per week, compared to an average 12 skills per week among those who have owned the device for less than three (3) months
  • 66% of those who own a smart speaker with a screen say the screen has made it easier to discover new content, and the same number say having a screen makes the smart speaker “easier to use”

“We continue to see those that have voice assistant devices love them, using them every day to get the news, listen to podcasts, live stream radio stations and more,” said Joel Sucherman, NPR Vice President, New Platform Partnerships. “The latest data suggest we’ve moved into a maturation phase in this space, in which earning and maintaining the trust of potential smart speaker buyers, while also demonstrating new functionality, may be a key to continuing dynamic growth.”

While almost half of smart speaker owners are planning to acquire another device, the report also finds a slowing interest among non-owners in acquiring their first smart speaker. Among people who do not own a smart speaker and are interested in acquiring one, the top two reasons they have not are concern that hackers could use a smart speaker to gain access to their home or personal information, and worry that smart speakers are always listening. 

The Smart Audio Report Spring 2019, part of the industry’s longest-running public research series about smart speaker consumer behavior in the U.S., is available now at npr.org/smartaudio.

 

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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 lhollabaugh@musicrow.com.

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