The Westwood One 2019 Audioscape: Smart Speaker Popularity Continues Full Steam Ahead
As a thought leader in audio insights, Westwood One examined the role of smart speakers and podcasts in the audio ecosystem in the latest Westwood One 2019 Audioscape report.
Here are a few key findings on podcasting and smart speakers:
AM/FM radio and Amazon Music lead in share of smart speaker time spent listening
AM/FM radio stations have developed voice-activated applications to enable listening on smart speakers and have been aggressively promoting Alexa and Google Home listening. This marketing blitz has paid off.
If content is king, then distribution is queen. Amazon Music benefits from the latter. Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” reports 80% of smart speaker owners have an Amazon Alexa, generating a competitive advantage for Amazon Music tune-in on smart speaker devices.
In Q2 2019, AM/FM radio (18%) and Amazon Music (17%) lead in share of listening on a smart speaker, according to Edison Research.
Smart speaker ownership growth isn’t slowing down
The number of Americans who reported owning a smart speaker increased threefold from Q2 2017 to Q2 2019. According to Edison Research’s “Share of Ear,” in Q2 2019, 30% of Americans reported owning a smart speaker compared to the 10% in Q2 2017. Brands and their agencies are noticing this growth and are beginning to use or consider the smart speaker platform.
Marketers and agencies are immersing themselves in voice-activated advertising
Westwood One commissioned Advertiser Perceptions, the gold standard of advertiser and media agency sentiment, to ask over 300 marketers and agencies their perspective about advertising on voice-activated devices in January 2018 then again in March 2019. The change is stunning. In a little over a year, the amount of marketers and agencies utilizing smart speaker opportunities doubled from 18% in January 2018 to 36% in March 2019.
Among media agencies and brands who haven’t started using smart speaker applications, their likelihood to use these marketing initiatives within the next 6 months has increased. This year, consideration and especially intention to become involved in voiced-activated opportunities have grown by double digits.
Millennial podcast growth is powered by ethnic and female audiences
In Q2 2019, Millennial 18-34 podcast daily reach has grown +13% over the prior year (15.3% to 17.3%). Driving this growth is 18-34 African Americans, Hispanics, and women. These segments are growing faster than the overall 18-34 demo. In Q2 2019, the daily reach among Millennial African Americans (20.2%) and Hispanics (19.6%) outpaced the daily reach among total Millennials.
Ethnic and female growth provides guidance for podcast teams on content they should invest in and develop to tap into these growing audiences.
- AM/FM radio and Amazon Music lead in share of smart speaker time spent listening
- Smart speaker ownership growth isn’t slowing down
- Marketers and agencies are immersing themselves in voice-activated advertising
- Millennial podcast growth is powered by ethnic and female audiences
Brittany Faison is the Insights Manager at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.