The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, Spring 2019

Survey finds security concerns do not inhibit regular use of installed
smart speaker devices, but are limiting further adoption

Click here to download The Smart Audio Report 2019, or to view the webinar.

New research in The Smart Audio Report series reveals how smart speaker user behavior and perceptions are evolving as owners ‘settle in’ with their devices and the market matures out of its introductory phase. According to the Spring 2019 survey, seven-in-ten smart speaker owners use their device daily despite common concerns around security and privacy, while those same factors are leading reasons non-owners have not acquired a device. The Smart Audio Report Spring 2019, part of the industry’s longest-running public research series about smart speaker consumer behavior in the U.S., is available now at npr.org/smartaudio.

“We are starting to see more pragmatic usage of these devices,” said Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research. “The longer people have these devices, the less experimentation they do with them — but the more ingrained into everyday life these devices become.”

Among the 53M+ smart speaker owners A18+ in the U.S.:

69% of smart speaker owners use their device daily, and households with children are even more likely to use them daily

Smart speaker owners who have owned the device for 2+ years use an average seven (7) skills per week, compared to an average 12 skills per week among those who have owned the device for less than three (3) months.

66% of those who own a smart speaker with a screen say the screen has made it easier to discover new content, and the same number say having a screen makes the smart speaker “easier to use”

“We continue to see those that have voice assistant devices love them, using them every day to get the news, listen to podcasts, live stream radio stations and more,” said Joel Sucherman, NPR Vice President, New Platform Partnerships. “The latest data suggest we’ve moved into a maturation phase in this space, in which earning and maintaining the trust of potential smart speaker buyers, while also demonstrating new functionality, may be a key to continuing dynamic growth,”

While almost half of smart speaker owners are planning to acquire another device, the Report also finds a slowing interest among non-owners in acquiring their first smart speaker. Among people who do not own a smart speaker and are interested in acquiring one, the top two (2) reasons they have not are:
63% are concerned that hackers could use a smart speaker to gain access to their home or personal information
55% are bothered that smart speakers are always listening

Security remains a concern around these devices among current users as well. Almost 60% of smart speaker owners worry about hackers, and more than half indicated it bothers them that their smart speaker is always listening.

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in June 2017, is a recurring study on trends in Smart Speaker ownership and voice assistant user behavior. A full archive of research from the Report is available at www.npr.org/smartaudio. NPR was the featured Flash Briefing provider on Amazon Alexa devices at launch in 2014, and also on Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Samsung Bixby and Apple Siri devices.

How This Study Was Conducted
The Smart Audio Report Spring 2019 is based upon a national online survey of 1,641 Americans ages 18+, 812 who indicated that they owned at least one Smart Speaker and 829 who indicated they did not own a smart speaker. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2019 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 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 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, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, 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, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more 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 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.

Edison Research Celebrates 25 Years

June 13, 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Edison Research’s date of incorporation. 

To say the least, we have come a long way over this time. From our beginning in a tiny one-room interior rental space in a co-working location in Edison, New Jersey to the campus we are fortunate enough to enjoy today, Edison has established itself as the worldwide leader in election-day surveys and research about all things related to audio. In the span of those 25 years we have witnessed the birth of mainstream internet usage, streaming audio, podcasts, and we have been tracking it all.

We have performed exit polls for every major American election for a consortium of television networks since the California governor recall election in 2003 – the Schwarzenegger election – and now we are also doing the vote count for the National Election Pool as well. We began in 1994 with two employees, and now our company’s more than 50 employees participate in a thriving practice based in Somerville, New Jersey, having worked in 66 countries around the world.

From paper surveys on the streets of Berlin to iPads in remote locations in Myanmar, we continue to pursue knowledge in the realm of social science and help our clients better understand the world and their businesses in meaningful and productive ways. We have built a team of dedicated researchers who work tirelessly to provide our clients with the highest-quality research.  We are pleased that our research is often the accepted standard and is quoted throughout the world by journalists, financial analysts, consultants, and political scientists. We could not have imagined such an exciting time in the growth and changes in digital media, as well as the interest and importance of American elections and others around the world.

Many thanks to our research partners, employees, clients, and those who continue to use our work and incorporate social science research in the general knowledge base for the greater good. We are fueled by our research findings in the past 25 years as we look forward to many milestones in the future.

Larry Rosin and Joe Lenski
Co-founders of Edison Research

Joe Lenski and Larry Rosin
Co-founders of Edison Research, 1994

Joe Lenski and Larry Rosin
Co-founders of Edison Research, 2019

NPR Smart Audio Report logo

Save the Date: The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research

Click here to register for The Smart Audio Report 2019 webinar from NPR and Edison Research.

Join us on Tuesday, June 25 at 2pm ET as we reveal the latest findings from The Smart Audio Report Spring 2019, a study on smart speaker ownership and consumer behaviors in the U.S. from NPR and Edison Research.

There are now approximately 65 million smart speaker owners in the United States, and we have been tracking trends in the voice-activated speaker space since 2017 through The Smart Audio Report. Learn how American smart speaker owners choose to use the devices, and how they integrate the voice-activated technology into their lives.

We hope you will join NPR and Edison Research June 25 for a first look at all of the Spring 2019 data.

The Social Habit 2019

Facebook Usage Continues to Drop; Preferences in Social Media Usage Vary Most by Age

There are now approximately 223 million social media users age 12+ in the U.S., and their original social media platform of choice, Facebook, is losing ground among users of all ages, for various reasons.

The Social Habit 2019 is a new study from Edison Research designed to dig deeper after a finding from The Infinite Dial®2019 (from Edison Research and Triton Digital® ) showed that Facebook has 15 million fewer users overall in the U.S. in 2019 than 2017.

The latest study shows that around one-third of Facebook users are using the platform less often than when they joined, regardless of age, but the reasons for using Facebook less vary widely with age. Those age 13-34 say they are using Facebook less because they enjoy other social media sites more, their friends don’t post much on Facebook, and because they are trying to avoid parents and relatives on the site. Those age 35+ say they are using Facebook less because they don’t like rants and have privacy concerns.

“Not only have millions of Americans stopped using Facebook entirely, nearly a third of Facebook users tell us they are using the service less. While Facebook remains the leading social media brand in America, it is being wounded on multiple fronts, as every demographic has their own reasons for spending less time there,” said Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research.

Other findings include:

  • The “core users” of the different social media brands, (those who use that one ‘most often’) have different demographic profiles.  Those who use LinkedIn and Twitter most are more likely to be male. Pinterest and Facebook users are more likely to be female. Snapchat is evenly split.
  • WhatsApp differentiates itself from other social media brands in the U.S. by having the most ethnically diverse user base. Thirty-eight percent of WhatsApp users are Hispanic, 28% are white, 27% are other ethnicity, and 7% are African American.
  • Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter have the highest composition of U.S. users age 12-34. Facebook and Pinterest have the highest composition of U.S. users age 55+. LinkedIn claims the highest percentage of those age 35-54

In qualitative interviews, Edison Research spoke with social media users age 18-29 who report using Facebook less recently or have stopped altogether. Those users describe some of the reasons they are using Facebook less, including avoiding family members on Facebook, experiencing discomfort with some of the “attention-seeking” they see on social media, and gravitating to other, more photo-heavy platforms. Paradoxically, though, the same users articulate FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, as they scan social media platforms, and feel compelled to participate in social media.

View The Social Habit 2019 webinar here:

Flip through The Social Habit 2019 deck here:

 

How the Study was Conducted:
The Social Habit is an in-depth look at social media users in the U.S. which uses data from the following three studies:

National Telephone Survey from The Infinite Dial®2019 from Edison Research and Triton Digital®. In January/February 2019, Edison Research conducted a national telephone survey of 1,500 people aged 12 and older, using random digit dialing techniques to both cell phones and landlines (U.S. Population 12+). Telephone data weighted to national 12+ U.S. population figures

National Online Survey from The Social Habit Survey from Edison Research. In May 2019, Edison Research conducted a national online survey of 850 people aged 13 and older. Data has been weighted to match The Infinite Dial®

In-person in-depth interviews, from The Social Habit Interviews from Edison Research. In April 2019, Edison Research interviewed twelve social media users age 18-29 who report using Facebook less recently or have stopped altogether

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, 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, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more 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 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.

 

The Infinite Dial® Expands to South Africa

The Infinite Dial®, the leading study on digital audio, mobile, smart speakers, podcast consumption, and social media from Edison Research, will be debuting in South Africa later this year, commissioned by South Africa’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Commercial Radio Committee and sponsored by Triton Digital, a global technology and services provider.

The Infinite Dial is the longest running survey of media consumer behavior in the U.S., tracking consumer usage of digital media over time.  The series has been recently expanded into both Australia and Canada.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) of South Africa represents radio, television, and networks in the broadcast industry. This study will be the first comprehensive measurement of the digital audio media behaviors of South Africans.

“As the voice of the commercial broadcast industry in South Africa, we are looking forward to gaining valuable insight from this study into the habits of listeners and consumers. We are thrilled to be partnering with Edison on this project, which we feel will benefit the whole media sector” noted Nadia Bulbulia, NAB Executive Director.

The study has become the report card on digital audio and other digital media, and is widely used and quoted by broadcasters, internet radio publishers, ad agencies, and the financial community.

“It’s an exciting endeavor to add South Africa to the roster of The Infinite Dial countries. The impressive broadcast landscape in South Africa, as well as growing online audio engagement, should provide a wealth of new knowledge for the associated industries,” said Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research.

“We take great pride in being a part of the expansion of The Infinite Dial to South Africa,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.  “The first of its kind in the region, we look forward to providing meaningful insights around digital audio and podcast consumption, device ownership, and more, for the first time.”

The first study aims to have results released in late August/early September by way of presentations in South Africa’s major urban centers, and will be published simultaneously online on the NAB, Edison Research, and Triton Digital’s websites.

 

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, 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, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more 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 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.

 

About the National Association of Broadcasters of South Africa
The NAB is a voluntary association funded entirely by its members, comprising radio and television players in the public, community and commercial spheres. The NAB regularly engages with policy makers on behalf of its members in advocating for an enabling broadcasting environment that is robust and sustainable. It promotes an industry grounded in the principles of democracy, diversity and freedom of expression.  A wide range of organisations belong to the NAB and hundreds of individuals working in the broadcasting and associated industries involve themselves in its activities.

 

About Triton Digital
Triton Digital® is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry. Operating in more than 40 countries, Triton provides innovative technology that enables broadcasters, podcasters, and online music services to build their audience, maximize their revenue, and streamline their day-to-day operations. In addition, Triton powers the global online audio industry with Webcast Metrics®, the leading online audio measurement service.  With unparalleled integrity, excellence, teamwork, and accountability, Triton remains committed to connecting audio, audience, and advertisers to continuously fuel the growth of the global online industry.  Triton Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).  For more information, visit www.TritonDigital.com.