More Americans own a smart speaker than ever before and the devices are also seeing an increase in usage, according to a survey from Adobe, results of which were shared first with Axios.
- 39% of respondents said they own a smart speaker, up from 36% in February 2019 and 28% in January 2018.
- Among those who do own a smart speaker, 46% said that they used the devices’ voice assistants more often during the three-month period from April through July than they had previously.
- Adobe said that 51% of those surveyed said they have heard an ad on their speaker, double the number that said so in May 2019. Of those who are hearing ads, 85% said they hear them at least weekly.
- To that end, 58% of consumers find smart speaker ads to be less intrusive than other major formats (TV, print, online, social). That’s up from 43% in May 2019.
- Similar majorities say they find speaker ads more engaging and more relevant to their needs and interests.
53% reported that a smart speaker ad eventually drove them to make a purchase, up from 39% in May 2019.
While I’m on these devices, Amazon has announced that compatible Echo devices will become Bluetooth bridges for their Sidewalk network, which was announced last year and is anticipated to roll out later this year. Tile will be the first third-party Sidewalk device.
Why do we care?
There’s two reasons here. I’ll get the slightly self serving one out of the way – targeted audio advertising in short form actually is growing in value in areas like podcasting too, and is also generally viewed as less intrusive and more engaging. I’m highlighting it here as one piece of the larger reason we care, which is voice.
We’re getting more comfortable with voice, and it’s getting more widespread. It may not be happening quite as fast as I might have thought, but it’s happening – and it’s also impactful. There’s a business opportunity to match ,and users are getting acquainted with the technology.
I’m also going to highlight Sidewalk again – compare these low power widespread networks against 5G, and there’s a set of use cases we’ll see fall out. Not all connected devices need high speeds, so let’s see if this is useful.