New Smart Audio Study shows Ubiquitous Voice Tech and Increasing Usage
June 16, 2022; Somerville, NJ — NPR and Edison Research released the 2022 Smart Audio Report today, showcasing the ubiquity of voice technology in the U.S. The Report highlights the increased usage of voice technology, with 35% of Americans 18+ now owning a smart speaker.
The 2022 study compares the most recent survey results with the 2017 Smart Audio Report, and also revisits families who were interviewed in 2017, creating a comprehensive picture of the changes over the last five years. The findings were presented in a webinar hosted by National Public Media (NPM) VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson and Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick and is available now at npr.org/smartaudio. Main findings from the study include:
- Voice technology is everywhere:In 2022, 62% of Americans 18+ use a voice assistant on any device, and those devices can include: smart speakers, smartphones, TV remotes, in-car systems, a computer/laptop, tablet, among others.
- Overall usage of voice tech is increasing: In 2022, 57% of voice command users use voice commands daily. Twenty percent of smart speaker owners spend most of their audio time listening through a smart speaker, up from 18% in 2017. The weekly number of tasks is increasing: In 2022, smart speaker owners request an average of 12.4 tasks on their device each week, up from 7.5 in 2017. Smartphone voice assistant users request an average of 10.7 tasks weekly, up from 8.8 in 2020.
- Ad messages delivered via voice tech are heard: Half of smart speaker owners have heard an ad on their smart speaker. Fifty-three percent of smart speaker owners who have heard an ad on their device agree they are likely to respond to ads on their smart speaker. Almost half (48%) of smart speaker owners who have heard an ad on their device say that compared to hearing an ad in another place, hearing it on their smart speaker would make them more likely to consider the brand.
According to Edison Research VP Megan Lazovick, "At this point the tech has become familiar for many users, so it is a great time to shake things up and get people's attention with novel audio experiences and tasks. In the grand scheme, this space is still very young, and there is much opportunity for change and growth, especially in the ways brands can communicate their messages using smart audio."
Additional key findings:
- 86% of smart speaker owners agree that the devices "allow for a more convenient living"
- Reasons for purchasing a smart speaker that have trended up in the past five years include: entertaining children, discovering new songs, and listening to podcasts
- The number of speaker owners who request to listen to a podcast on their smart speaker in a typical week increased by 22% over the past 5 years
"We are thrilled to see the interest and use of smart speakers continue to grow, five years after the original installment of this Report. This data confirms that there are even more opportunities for both publishers and brands alike to connect with this growing and engaged audience," said NPM VP of Sponsorship Marketing Lamar Johnson.
How the study was conducted The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research is based on a national online survey of 1,190 U.S. adults age 18+ who own a smart speaker, 560 U.S. adults age 18+ who do not own a smart speaker but use voice assistants on other devices such as smartphones, and another 584 U.S. adults 18+ who do not use voice assistants at all. Surveys were conducted 2/28/ 2022-4/18/2022. In-depth interviews were conducted over zoom with smart speaker owners, voice assistant users, and those who don't use the technology at all. Additionally, follow-up interviews were conducted with those who participated in ethnography interviews from The Smart Audio Report 2017.
NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling that connects with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in-person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now it's easy to listen to our stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, "Play NPR," and you'll be tuned into your local Member station's live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Apple, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, and Univision. Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, Spotify, SXM Media, ESPN, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. Edison Research has conducted research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.