• By Annie Hunt

Audio Comes Home: The Audio Content Journey Comes Full Circle


Remember clock radios? In the not-so-distant past, almost every household had at least one next to their beds. Clock radios are going the way of VHS, as smartphones became our go-to for waking up.

While the ownership of clock radios, boomboxes and the like decline, audio has maintained its dominance in the car. AM/FM reaches 92% of adults every week, and it’s held that strong reach over the years thanks to its convenience and availability outside of the home.

When smartphones came around they put audio in everyone’s pockets. Audio followed the consumer beyond their vehicles - at the gym, on the train, at the beach, and yes, at home too - as streaming and downloading got easier, more portable.

Now, voice-activated tech has arrived, continuing the shift in how we consume audio and bringing radio back home in a big way. While there are many reasons consumers are welcoming smart speakers into their homes, a 2019 survey from Voicebot is dropping some fresh insights on how their new gadgets are being used for audio content and shaping new habits.

In the past year alone, smart speaker ownership jumped 40% to 26% of the U.S. population. Early adopters and new users alike find themselves consuming more audio as their favorite streaming service or radio station is just a voice command away. Nearly 4 in 10 smart speaker owners have made listening to online music a daily habit and over one-fifth tune into AM/FM everyday. Additionally, music leads the pack as the most frequent question category. 55% of users ask music-related questions followed by news (36%) and movies (35%).

This is all happening while they’re cooking dinner, cleaning, or lounging - alone or with family. Co-listening is most common in the home and smart speakers are enabling that as they are more likely to be placed in common areas like the living room. Nearly 45% of consumers have at least one in their living room. The bedroom is just behind at 38% and the kitchen at 33%.

Another interesting data point? In 2019, over 4 in 10 smart speaker owners (42%) have more than one device, versus 34% in 2018. That can be said for few other pieces of tech. How many of us own, and actively use, more than one iPhone?

We have our stations pre-set on our car radios. Our playlists queued up on our phone. Smart speakers are yet another platform that’s adding value to our media diets with greater ease, flexibility, and choice. It’s important to note that the expanding variety of choice is not impacting audio consumption. Americans are listening more than ever as audio gets more in tune with all aspects of a person’s day-to-day.

According to the International Data Corporation, 2019 smart speaker shipments could grow to over 240 million in 2023. This is good news for brands too looking to innovate how they break through to their target audience. Context is everything. Diversify your audio strategy and adapt campaign messaging to complement the journey from home, to work, running errands, then back home.

From network radio solutions to pure play streaming and podcasting, AdLarge is here to help spark a conversation with the right audience, at the right time, in the right context. Get in touch today!

#blog #radio #audio #smartspeakers #digitalaudio #streaming #audiobranding

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