Following Holiday Surge, One In Six Americans Owns A Voice-Activated Smart Speaker New surveys from NPR and Edison Research confirm rapid increases in ownership of voice-activated smart speakers, and the impact these devices are having on consumer behavior.
NPR logo Following Holiday Surge, One In Six Americans Owns A Voice-Activated Smart Speaker

Following Holiday Surge, One In Six Americans Owns A Voice-Activated Smart Speaker

7% Acquired a Smart Speaker During the 2017 Holiday Season 30% Say the Speaker is Replacing Time Spent with TV

Washington, DC; January 10, 2018 - New surveys from NPR and Edison Research confirm continued and rapid increases in ownership of voice-activated smart speakers, and reinforce the increasing impact these devices are having on consumer behavior across a variety of technologies and platforms. One-in-six Americans now has a Smart Speaker (16%), up 128% since January 2017 according to a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,010 persons ages 18 and older fielded after Christmas 2017. This new data from The Smart Audio Report is available now at NPR.org/smartaudio.

The 2017 holiday season was a benchmark moment for Smart Speaker sales: 7% of Americans report acquiring at least one Smart Speaker between Black Friday and the end of December 2017, and 4% report acquiring their first Smart Speaker device during the holidays.

Amazon continues to dominate the Smart Speaker category. More than two-thirds of Smart Speaker owners report having an Echo, Dot or other Alexa-based product. One quarter of Smart Speaker owners report having a Google Assistant product such as Google Home or Google Home Mini.

Based on this survey, Smart Speaker adoption is occurring on pace with the rapid adoption of smartphones a decade ago. Apple's iPhone was introduced in Summer 2007. Three years later, Spring 2010, 14% of Americans owned a smartphone (Edison, Infinite Dial). Amazon's Echo, the first smart speaker on the market, was introduced in November 2014. Today, three years later, 16% of Americans own a smart speaker.

New survey data from The Smart Audio Report also reveals how voice-activation in the home is fueling adoption of smart technology broadly – including smart home applications – and affecting how often consumers engage with other platforms throughout the day. According to a survey of 800 Smart Speaker owners during the Fall of 2017:

  • 30% say the Smart Speaker is replacing time spent with TV
  • 71% are listening to more audio since getting a Smart Speaker
  • 66% entertain family/friends with the Smart Speaker
  • 64% of owners who plan to buy additional Smart Speakers want to use them to control smart home devices
  • 44% of Smart Speaker owners are using the voice assistant on their phones more since getting a Smart Speaker
  • 61% are interested in getting Smart Speaker technology in their cars

These, and other key findings from The Smart Audio Report, will be presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on January 10th. Following the research presentation, representatives from NPR, Edison, Amazon and Google will join a panel discussion on the growth and impact of Smart Speakers. More information on this CES session is available here.

"We are growing the NPR brand by meeting listeners where they are — driving to work, sitting at a desk, relaxing at home, walking outside," said Meg Goldthwaite, Chief Marketing Officer of NPR. "When people are familiar with NPR, they love NPR. So, we need to increase this familiarity and love by showing listeners how they can tune into NPR everywhere. It's pivotal to understand how people listen today — how are media habits and diets changing? Commissioning studies like The Smart Audio Report allows us to stay ahead of the curve, meaningfully connect with listeners, and continue finding ways to create a more informed public."

"Voice-activated speakers are perhaps the most dynamic sector not only in the audio space but in consumer electronics in general," said Tom Webster, Sr. VP at Edison Research. "In addition to all of the search-based conveniences and the home automation capabilities, they are increasing access to all manner of digital audio. Our research is finding very different behaviors within 'Smart Speaker-enabled homes' once people acquire these technologies, and I look forward to discussing these changes at our CES panel."

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in June 2017, is a reoccurring study on trends in Smart Speaker ownership and user behavior. A full archive of research from the Report is available at NPR.org/smartaudio. NPR was the default Flash Briefing provider on Amazon Alexa devices at launch in 2014, and also on both Google Home and Microsoft Cortana devices. NPR will be available on Apple HomePod (forthcoming).

How These Studies Were Conducted

Telephone survey:

Interviews conducted via telephone from December 26-30, 2017 among a sample of 1,010 respondents. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-3.66% at the 95% confidence level. Approximately 600 interviews were obtained with respondents on their cell phones, and approximately 35 interviews completed in Spanish. Data are weighted to represent the target population.

Online survey:

We interviewed 800 respondents online who indicated that they owned at least one Smart Speaker. Interviews were conducted from November 17-22, 2017. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2017 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

About NPR

NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect 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 consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information at NPR.org/aboutnpr and 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, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, NPR, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world, and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, CBS, PodcastOne, WNYC, and many more leading companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

Contact

NPR Isabel Lara

(202) 513-2300

ilara@npr.org

Edison Research Tom Webster

(908) 707-4707

twebster@edisonresearch.com