With 2020’s start of a new “roaring 20s,” the media industry has its eye out for upcoming game-changers. At the end of the last decade, smart speakers rejuvenated the audio experience.
With such a prominent place in the media landscape, smart speakers are a major part of the Westwood One 2020 Audioscape, a report that utilizes Edison Research’s Q3 2019 “Share of Ear” data to discuss audio trends.
Here are some of the smart speaker takeaways uncovered:
Smart speaker ownership continues to grow and brings AM/FM radio into the home
What percentage of the population owns a smart speaker? That depends on who you ask. Depending on the source, as many as 2 out of 5 Americans are estimated to own a smart speaker. While numbers may vary, the story is the same – as smart speaker use becomes an integral part of the audio experience for millions of Americans, ownership continues to climb.
Edison Research’s latest figure for smart speaker ownership is at 28%, quadrupling since Q1 2017.
AM/FM radio has the largest share of time spent on smart speakers
Among persons 13+, AM/FM radio accounts for 24% of time spent on smart speakers. In Q3 2019, AM/FM radio surpassed Amazon Music in share of listening on the smart speaker by 60% (24% vs. 15%). While AM/FM radio dominates the car and the workplace, the rise of the smart speaker is bringing AM/FM radio back into the home. Despite the continued growth of podcasting’s popularity, podcasts only represent a small share of all audio time spent with smart speakers.
AM/FM radio listening on the smart speaker is on the rise
From Q1 2018 to Q3 2019, AM/FM radio’s share of time spent on the smart speaker grew from 20% to 24%, a +20% increase. During this same time period, SiriusXM’s share of listening on the smart speaker improved from 1% to 8%.
While SiriusXM’s growth could be interesting for advertisers, it is important to note that 79% of SiriusXM’s audience listens to the ad-free version. AM/FM radio, however, can deliver a large, engaged audience in an ad-supported environment.
Most smart speaker listening occurs at home but listening at work is on the rise
Smart speaker tune-in continues to be dominated by at home listening. In Q3 2019, 87% of all time spent with smart speakers occurred at home. From Q1 2018 to Q3 2019, there is modest growth in at work listening with smart speakers. Time spent with smart speakers at work increased from 6% to 10%. As the smart speaker becomes more integrated in daily activities, we might see continued growth in at work listening.
Over half (53%) of time spent with smart speakers occurs between 6am and 3pm
Mornings and middays are now the top smart speaker listening dayparts. In Q1 2018, one-third (32%) of time spent with smart speakers occurred during the afternoon. In Q3 2019 this fell to 21%, a -35% decline. From Q1 2018 to Q3 2019, the share of time spent with smart speakers grew +50% for mornings (19% to 28%) and +28% for middays (19% to 25%).
- Smart speaker ownership continues to grow and brings AM/FM radio into the home
- AM/FM radio has the largest share of time spent on smart speakers
- AM/FM radio listening on the smart speaker is on the rise
- Most smart speaker listening occurs at home but listening at work is on the rise
- Over half (53%) of time spent with smart speakers occurs between 6am and 3pm
Brittany Faison is the Insights Manager at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.