Smart speakers are the latest technology on the minds of marketers. Whether being used as a source of music, entertainment, or information, there is no ignoring their prevalence in American homes today.
The advertising industry is taking note. Among decision-makers, nearly one in five are using voice-activated marketing opportunities, according to a recent 2018 survey from Advertiser Perceptions. The survey also reveals among those not currently using voice-activated opportunities, 23% are considering it in the next six months.
The trend is picking up speed because of the rapid rise of consumer smart speaker interest and use. But what do we know about this group and their audio consumption habits? We turned to Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study to focus in on this audience. The data gives us a better understanding of smart speaker trends and the profile of these consumers.
Here’s what we found:
Smart speaker ownership is on a significant upswing
According to Edison Research and Triton Digital’s just-released “Infinite Dial,” the number of smart speaker owners has more than doubled in the last year. 18% of Americans now own a voice-activated smart speaker.
Americans don’t stop at just one smart speaker either. They deck out their homes. Edison’s “Infinite Dial” reports that of smart speaker owners, 33% own two or more smart speakers in their households.
Smart speaker owners have a broad age profile but skew male, educated, and affluent
Consumers of all ages are getting into the smart speaker craze. From Gen Z teenagers to Boomers 50+, each age bracket of the population is well represented among this group. The highest number of smart speaker owners come from Millennials 18-34 and Gen X 35-54, each group representing 35% in smart speaker ownership.
Smart speaker owners are more likely to be men with a 62% male skew compared to 48% of the total U.S. population. They are educated and affluent: 63% have graduated college or obtained an advance degree and 63% have an average household income of $75K+.
Smart speaker owners listen to AM/FM radio
Edison Research reveals that time spent with AM/FM radio is identical among smart speaker owners and all Americans.
Smart speaker owners spend 1 hour and 51 minutes a day with AM/FM radio. The total U.S. population spends 1 hour and 53 minutes daily. Virtually identical.
Reach tells a similar story. In a typical day, 71% of smart speaker owners listen to AM/FM radio. Among the total U.S., 71% are reached daily.
Smart speaker listenership mirrors over the air AM/FM radio listening at home
Amazon Alexa usage peaks during the morning. For major New York City radio station WPLJ-FM, the total unique customers is highest between 6AM and 10AM. How does Alexa usage compare with WPLJ-FM’s over the air listening at home?
The usage is perfectly aligned. WPLJ-FM’s Nielsen average quarter hour audience at home is a near mirror with WPLJ-FM’s Alexa listening.
AM/FM radio listeners and smart speaker owners are similar. Smart speaker owners are still using AM/FM radio the same way the rest of America is: for a significant amount of time, in mass numbers every day, and during the morning hours.
- Smart speaker ownership is on a significant upswing
- Smart speaker owners have a broad age profile but skew more male, more educated, and more affluent
- Smart speaker owners listen to AM/FM radio
- Smart speaker listenership mirrors over the air AM/FM radio listening at home
Lauren Vetrano is Director of Content Marketing at Cumulus | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.