Thirty six percent of consumers now own smart speakers, according to a new study by Adobe Analytics. Of those who own the devices, 75 percent report using their smart speaker “at least daily” or “multiple times per day.”
These figures show maintained growth over the past six months, when in August 2018 ownership was at 32 percent and regular use was at 71 percent.
“The 2018 holiday season was a crucial litmus test, to see if smart speakers could continue capturing consumer interest and pocket books,” said Colin Morris, director of Adobe Analytics, in a statement. “The double digit growth we see in ownership, along with continued daily usage, shows that the path for smart speakers has diverged from other emerging technology trends like 3D TV and VR headsets — now becoming a part of everyday life. The big focus of 2019 will be around building a thriving ecosystem of skills.”
The 2019 Adobe Analytics Voice Report surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers over the age of 18 from Jan. 28-31. It found smart speaker ownership leaned more heavily towards males, with 43 percent of men claiming to own the devices compared to just 29 percent of women.
Overall, the age group ranging 35-54 dominated ownership, with 47 percent claiming to have a device. The 18-34 group followed with 40 percent, then the 55-64 group with 37 percent and the 65-and-over group claiming 25 percent ownership.
Other findings included a moderate uptick in people reporting increasing their use of a voice assistant in the last year (77 percent, as compared to 76 percent in August 2018). As well, more people reported using their smart speakers for playing music (74 percent, as compared to 70 percent in August 2018) — the most popular use of smart speakers overall.
The study also looked at placement of smart speakers, reporting the living room is the most popular with 64 percent of consumers keeping devices there. Meanwhile, 46 percent of people keep a smart speaker in the bedroom and 32 percent keep one in the kitchen.
Regarding advertisements on smart speakers, 38 percent of people said they find voice ads less intrusive than ads on TV, print, online and social media. Slightly more — 39 percent — said they find voice ads more engaging than on those other channels.
“Whether it is music, news or podcasts, what people listen to is very personal and custom to them in nature,” added Morris. “It generally makes them more receptive to ads in this case, especially when advertisers can customize the creative based on genre, listener profiles, and the like. We have consistently seen that audio tends to reach distinct audiences that other formats miss, such as among younger listeners who have been quick to adopt smart speakers into their daily lives.”