The Smart Audio Report 2020 from NPR and Edison Research

Use of Smart Speakers in the U.S. Increases During Quarantine

NPR and Edison Research release The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020, find 77% of adults in the U.S. have had a change in their typical routine due to COVID-19 outbreak

New research from The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research finds that 77% of those in the U.S. age 18+ are experiencing a change in their typical routine due to the outbreak of COVID-19 as of April 1, and voice-assistant usage has expanded during these disruptions. The annual survey, part of the industry’s longest-running public research series about smart speaker consumer behavior in the U.S., captures new data on smart speaker ownership — now reaching 24% of the U.S. population A18+ (60M) — and how consumers are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic at the time the survey fielded March 31- April 1, 2020.

The full study is available now at npr.org/smartaudio.

With stay-at-home orders and the closing of nonessential businesses across the country from mid-March to the present, adults in the U.S. are behaving in accordance with regulations. Forty-one percent of U.S. adults say they are staying at home and not leaving unless it is an emergency, and 54% are only going to places they feel safe and/or are necessary. The Smart Audio Report measured how those affected by the restrictions are using voice assistants:

  • 36% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak, and 52% of 18-34-year-olds say the same.
  • 35% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners are listening to more news and information since the COVID-19 outbreak, and 50% of those ages 18-34 say the same.
  • Usage of voice commands in general has increased slightly since the COVID-19 outbreak, with 52% of voice-assistant users saying they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day, compared to 46% before the outbreak.

“With tens of millions of Americans no longer commuting, smart speakers are becoming even more important as a conduit for news and information,” noted Edison Research SVP Tom Webster, “and this increased usage and facility with voice assistants will likely increase demand for this technology in vehicles once our commutes resume.”

“Our daily routines may have changed, but our need for easy access to reliable journalism remains critical – even more so than ever before, “ said NPR Vice President of New Platform Partnerships Joel Sucherman. “We see that in listening patterns and the continued growth in the number of devices Americans have in their homes.”

Other key findings include:

Of those who use voice assistants, more than two-thirds say they ‘make their lives easier’.

46% of smart speaker owners say they use their smartphone voice assistant more since acquiring their smart speaker

59% of smart speaker owners who also use a voice assistant on their smartphone say the tasks they use for each of the devices are mostly different

52% of smart speaker non-owners who use some type of voice commands are likely or very likely to buy a smart speaker in the next six months — 34% of all smart speaker non-owners say they are likely or very likely to buy a device in the next six months

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in 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.

How This Study Was Conducted
The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020 is based upon a national telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted December 31, 2019 through January 5, 2020, and a national online survey of 1,660 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted March 31, 2020 through April 1, 2020. Ethnographic interviews were conducted in Denver, Kansas City, and Orlando. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2020 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 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, the NPR One skill, 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.

Lunchtime Webinar Series: Inside the Infinite Dial

Yesterday we presented Edison Research’s first installment in our Lunchtime Webinar Series, Inside the Infinite Dial: How Edison Research Leverages Original Research Into Award-Winning Thought Leadership. Edison Research SVP Tom Webster gave attendees a look behind the curtain at the evolution of The Infinite Dial through a content marketing lens.

The complete webinar is now available for viewing below.

Please join us on April 16th at 1pm for our next Lunchtime Webinar where Edison Research President Larry Rosin will present Portents for November: A Review of the Edison Research Democratic Primary Exit Polls. Registration link will be available soon at www.edisonresearch.com and on Twitter at @edisonresearch.

Digital Accounts for 8% of AM/FM Radio Listening

Share of Ear® data from Edison Research shows slow and small growth for listening to radio streams

As the entire U.S. population is turned upside down by the COVID-19 crisis, disrupting nearly every pattern of ‘normal’ life, it is crucial that the broadcast radio industry has access to correct information regarding where it stands today.

Periodically, Edison Research has released its estimate of what portion of all listening to AM/FM content happens on a traditional radio receiver and how much is done on a digital device.

As of the most recent update, Q4 2019, the portion of AM/FM listening represented by the streams is 8%.  “Traditional” radio listening through a receiver like a car radio or clock radio is 92% of all listening.

“We’ve been tracking the changes in radio listening since the beginning of Share of Ear in 2014.  The portion of listening that is digital goes up a tiny bit with each update, but the total amount remains small,” says Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research.  “Streaming is a bigger factor for spoken-word stations such as public radio news, sports and news talk.”

“Determining shares like these can’t be done in a simple manner,” continued Rosin, “you have to put in the work.  You need a methodology that takes time spent listening into account, and you need to fully represent the American population, including not only those online but also those who are either not online or lightly online.”

Edison’s Share of Ear® study is the only research that measures the entire world of audio, looking at platform of listening, time of day, device on which the audio was consumed, the kind of programming, and the location of listening.  The study will continue to measure the audio space and perhaps will show that the current crisis is indeed bringing changes.

“President Obama’s then chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is credited with coining the aphorism: ‘Never let a serious crisis go to waste.’  If the radio industry is ever going to really ‘turn the corner’ on digital listening, this may need to be the crisis that makes it happen.  Radio needs to do all it can to remind listeners that they still can listen, on smart speakers, through phone apps, and their computers,” says Rosin.

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, 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, Spotify, Stitcher/Midroll, ESPN, 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.

Two-Thirds of Americans Have at Least One Radio in Their Home

New information from the Infinite Dial 2020® from Edison Research and Triton Digital shows that 68% of all Americans say they have at least one radio in their homeThe average home now has 1.5 radios, down from double that number in 2008.

The trend over the last 12 years shows a consistent diminution in the hardware unit – the radio receiver – from American homes. In 2008, only 4% of Americans reported having no radio in their home, as compared to 32% today.

What has replaced these radios? Do those who have no radios instead have smart speakers in their homes? Tune in to The Infinite Dial® webinar for the answer to these questions and many others.

The Infinite Dial® 2020 will be presented Thursday, March 19 at pm EDT. Click here to register.

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.

Out-of-Home Case Study: Health Media Network

Health Media Network’s tagline, “Patient Education at the Point of Care,” appropriately illustrates how the company works to educate patients on-site through a system of digital media, which delivers targeted health education in doctors’ offices.

When Health Media Network wanted to measure the effectiveness of an OTC health brand promotion, they engaged Edison Research to assist with their research goals. The goal of the research was to “examine the impact and effectiveness of the Health Media Network promotional campaign on brand engagement, opinion and purchase intent.” We implemented an on-site intercept study across doctor offices in multiple locations to gather data.

Our experienced interviewers identified patients age 18+ leaving doctor’s offices in multiple locations who recalled seeing a digital video display on-site and conducted an interview to determine ad effectiveness. Those who did not recall seeing a digital video display were also interviewed as a control group.

Through this on-site intercept study, we were able to answer many of the research questions posed by HMN. First, those who recalled the ad are highly engaged with the brand, with 57% having a more favorable brand opinion after the exposure. We found that there was brand lift associated with the HMN promotion, including increased purchases in the next twelve months, brand recommendations, and brand relevance. Sixty percent of those who recalled ads said the ad was more believable because it was in a doctor’s office versus on their television at home.

Because interviewers interact directly with respondents, they are able to collect direct quotes from those who recall (or don’t recall) out-of-home ads, such as, “I’m listening to advice more carefully at the doctor’s.” These in-person interactions can create a more complete understanding of the success of the brand campaign.

 

For more information on our custom digital out-of-home research capabilities, please contact info@edisonresearch.com.

Click here to access On-Site Insights, a digital out-of-home study conducted by Edison Research to gauge recall and perceptions of DOOH advertising in the places where consumers work, shop, eat, and travel. 

About Edison’s Out of Home Research: Edison Research is one of the leading out-of-home media and marketing research companies in the world, with an unparalleled ability to conduct logistically complicated projects in multiple locations quickly and efficiently. We have over 19,000 trained pollsters and utilize our experience as the sole provider of exit polling data to develop cost-effective and sound methodology for determining consumer opinion. We measure opportunity to see, vehicle and advertising reach, dwell time and other audit metrics, as well as key effectiveness measures like awareness/lift, usage and willingness to consider. We can also gather important demographic, psychographic and behavioral information about your audience or customers to help optimize current campaigns and inform future ones.

About Health Media Network:
via www.hmnads.com — Launched in 2007, Health Media Network (HMN) is a leading and trusted Digital Point of Care media company. HMN provides targeted health education in Physician Waiting Rooms and Hospital Systems to advance consumer health literacy and facilitate better doctor/patient conversations.