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Smart Speaker Owners and Radio Ratings – New Data Show the Link to TSL

Radio ratings participants are about 68% more likely to own a smart speaker than the general population according to January data from NuVudoo. The data show that 33% of media ratings participants with either a PPM or Diary owned a smart speaker, up from just 16% in August 2017.


Amazon Echo, Google Home and other smart speakers all gained ownership over the period. In addition, 48% of likely PPM participants are currently smart speaker owners. Carolyn Gilbert, NuVoodoo President and CEO, commented:

“As we see it, the numbers are too big to ignore. If radio stations don’t have a strategy for smart speakers, they risk being left out as people become habituated to what they ask their smart speakers to do for them.”

Smart Speaker Owners Add to TSL

In addition, the study concludes that smart speaker ownership is driving higher in-home time spent listening (TSL). This point was emphasized by NuVoodoo EVP of research analysis Leigh Jacobs:

“It’s a rare person who still has a clock radio – and even more rare when you find a person who wakes up to a station playing on a clock radio. This is largely brand new TSL, brought about by a combination of the novelty of these new devices and being able to listen in rooms that may not have had a radio for a long time. This presents a significant opportunity for stations to bring radio back to bedrooms and kitchens every morning.”

XAPPmedia has helped more than 800 radio stations launch custom skills for Amazon Alexa. These broadcasters have drawn a similar conclusion. Smart speaker listening is incremental time spent with radio that increases consumption of the station’s live stream simulcast. In addition, it can also increase consumption of on-demand content and podcasts.

Data from Edison Research and Triton confirms that radios are less common in homes than in the past. Over the past decade, the number of homes with no radios rose from just 4% to 29%. The rise in homes with multiple televisions and the popularity of streaming services have materially impact radio listening in the home.


Smart speakers have changed this dynamic. OC&C Strategy estimated that 13% of U.S. households owned at least one smart speaker at the end of 2017. That accounted for a 19.7% reach among U.S. adults according to a Voicebot.ai survey and the expectation is that adoption will grow by up to 50% in 2018. It is not surprising that radio ratings participants skew heavily toward smart speaker ownership as previous NuVoodoo data show Nielsen candidates tend to be “more engaged with radio and other media.”

This tendency aligns well will smart speaker owner habits. Voicebot also reports that listening to a streaming music service is the most popular monthly and daily activity of smart speaker owners and radio listening is the fifth most popular use case.


Developing a Smart Speaker Strategy for Radio

Smart speakers in particular and voice assistants in general are turning out to be a more important consumer shift for radio than mobile. With voice, we are seeing that it isn’t just about defending TSL, but is actually an avenue for listening growth. NuVoodoo’s Ms. Jacobs emphasizes this point in her comment:

“These new speakers can connect people with all sorts of content, but it’s easiest when those publishing the content have an easy way to tell people exactly what to say to their smart speaker. If that sounds like an ideal situation for broadcast radio outlets, you’re right on the money…It’s also a good time to review what your stream sounds like. With these new devices, if you’re not making the listener happy, she can ask Alexa to switch to Spotify, Pandora or Amazon.”

If you want listeners to know exactly what to say and for it to align with your brand marketing, then a custom Alexa skill is a good first step. XAPPmedia has cataloged lessons learned from launching over 800 radio stations on Alexa into a concise strategy that stations can follow. We will review the market data on smart speaker adoption and strategic options for radio tomorrow in a webinar at 1:00 pm EDT / 10:00 am PDT. We will also discuss what is happening with Google Home and simple ways radio stations can get started on Alexa and Google Assistant. We hope you can join us. If it doesn’t fit into your schedule, feel free to click the button below and we will send you a link to the recording.

Webinar: How Radio Can Succeed on Alexa
Date: Tuesday, May 1st
Time: 1:00 – 1:30 pm EDT


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