The Connected Home: What Are Smart Speakers Saying and Doing?

From connected thermostats and refrigerators that can stream Pandora, to vacuums that (for better or worse) map the layout of your house, it’s clear the “Connected Home” is going mainstream. With growing interest and popularity–along with greater accessibility and more attractive price points–the idea that we can manage our entire living space through the internet is an increasing reality for many consumers. And the main driver of this? The voice-activated smart speaker.

Smart speakers (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home) are currently some of the fastest growing CE devices available. With cutting-edge voice technology and no touchscreen to speak of, audio and voice are the only ways we can interact with these little devices, and by extension all the other devices they are linked with. Now, all we need is our voice to harness the vast digital world.

If you really think about it, whether it’s asking Google for the weather or Alexa to put detergent on your shopping list, voice is the new touch. It makes staying connected a more seamless and frictionless experience no matter what the activity. Voice is also a more personal and “human” way of communicating, so this shift opens up huge opportunities for content creators and brands to be hyper-contextual in the home. However, taking advantage of these opportunities requires understanding exactly how these devices are being used.

New Research Reveals More about Smart Speaker Usage

Earlier this year, Pandora partnered with Edison Research to speak with 444 U.S. adults who own a voice-activated smart speaker. Once we could ensure that each person had owned the device for at least a month, we asked participants to provide their full interaction history from the last seven days.

Nearly 15,000 interactions later, we uncovered some interesting insights about who’s using smart speakers and how. By analyzing the interactions that had been recorded by the device instead of relying on the respondent’s memory or diary entries, the results of this study gave us a real-life view into smart speaker usage trends. The infographic below dives deeper into what we learned.

The ease of use that smart speakers bring to the home is unmistakably driving an increase in audio and music consumption as well. If people are spending more time than ever listening to audio content, it’s time for brands to think twice about their Sonic Identity, or rather, how their brand sounds. Because without screens, there’s no guarantee that a consumer will always see your logo or ad creative; instead, they may only have the opportunity to hear it.

If figuring our your brand’s Sonic Identity seems too daunting, you’re not alone. Pandora’s Creative Services team is on-call to help advertisers tailor their visual message to be more impactful in audio. We’ve staffed this team with experts in all kinds of creative specialities to give our brand partners the best possible advice when it comes to audio advertising. If this is something you’d like to learn more about, get in touch with us by completing this short form.

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