The smart speaker hype is real.

Undeniably the most innovative and rapidly growing technology of 2018, smart speakers are disrupting the digital world – giving brands a new opportunity to connect with consumers on a more personal and authentic level.

With our years of experience in audience engagement, we’re excited to watch this new technology unfold… And interested to see how voice technology will continue to change the way consumers & brands interact with content.

Below we’ve outlined a quick overview of the growth of smart speakers, the future of voice, and highlighted how consumers are currently using their devices. We’ve also included a few ideas on how we think brands can benefit from this new and immersive technology.

SMART SPEAKERS are quickly becoming an essential part of everyday life.

  • Households with smart speakers are up +49% in 5 months – Comscore
  • 72% people say that their devices are used as a part of their daily routine – Think with Google
  • 65% of users say they wouldn’t want to go back to life without their smart speaker – Ad Age & NPR

The Future of Voice

Voice is not a thing of the future – it’s here today, and users are quickly adapting to it. – Campaign

  • In 2018, more than 45 million people will use a smart speaker in the United States which is triple the number of users from 2016 – Mindstream Media
  • Smart Devices are expected to be in over 50% of US households by 2022 – Business Wire
  • 50% of search will be voice by 2020 – Campaign
  • Ad-spend for voice is anticipated to reach nearly $19 billion globally by 2022 –Business Wire

Industries that Voice/Smart Speakers are expected to impact include:

  • Retail
  • Consumer Goods
  • Electronic manufactures
  • Advertising
  • Restaurants – Comscore

How are People Using their Smart Speakers?

Completing everyday tasks

  • 58% of users say they create or manage shopping lists at least once a week –Mindstream Media
  • 31% of smart speaker owners use it to control household devices in the last week –Mindstream Media

Learning & Fun

  • 53% of smart speaker owners use the device for general research – Adobe Analytics
  • Users consider searching with their voice more efficient than traditional search – Think With Google
  • Three-fifths of smart speaker owners play music on their device –Mindstream Media
  • 71% of users say they are listening to more audio (music, news, and podcasts) since getting a smart speaker –Mindstream Media
  • Two-thirds of people use their smart speakers to entertain family and friends –Mindstream Media

Shopping!

  • 31% of users say they are purchasing more on Amazon and Google since getting their smart speakers – Ad Age & NPR
  • 57% say they have ordered an item through their smart speaker. Households with children are even more likely to have purchased through the speaker – Ad Age & NPR

How Brands Can Benefit from Smart Speaker Technology

Link Your Technology and Current Digital Strategy to Voice/Smart Speaker Functionality
64% of voice assistant users access the service through their mobile phones, and with the number of smart speaker users rapidly growing – linking your current mobile app or digital strategy with voice functionality will only drive you closer to your desired audience.

By downloading Alexa ‘Skills’ (which are essentially apps) you can enable the voice assistant to connect to hardware and software to perform certain tasks. Check out how you can create personal Alexa skills for your brand in minutes.

Create Content for the Home Environment
As smart speakers continue to become a more essential part of the home environment, there is a huge potential for these secondary devices to be used in conjunction with traditional audio and TV content.

Ways in which consumers could engage with smart speakers and more traditional mediums simultaneously include:

  • Voting via smart speaker device for their favorite contestant on a reality television show
  • Access to clips of performances or behind the scenes interviews
  • Receiving the latest updates from news/television sources

As these methods mature and develop a more engaged user base – it offers new sponsorship opportunities for brands and marketers alike.

Sponsor Smart
Currently, the majority of consumers are using their smart speakers in the living room (45%) and the kitchen (41%) which indicates that a focus on music and entertainment will likely show success in the short term. – Techcrunch

Brands could benefit from this by creating or sponsoring audio content (i.e. TV ads or podcasts) that or designed to be listened to by families or groups cooking dinner or at at-homes parties and other social settings. – Ad Age & NPR

Hype Recap…

It’s clear to see that smart speaker technology is primed to incorporate itself into just about every part of our daily lives.

How this will affect brands, content creators, consumers and everyone else in between? While there are many possibilities – only time will tell.

One thing we know for certain – smart speakers, are here to stay.

 

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