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Survey Says Smart Speaker Sales Drive Online Audio Listening

Audiobooks also make a jump in listenership this year

The Edison Research/Triton Digital latest The Infinite Dial survey showed an increase in smart speaker sales, with one in four Americans owning one or more. But what do people listen to with their new smart speakers? The recent numbers from Edison and Triton suggest a lot of the listening may be to online audio.

[Read: Smart Speaker Ownership Approaching One in Four Americans]

The numbers show that monthly online listening has increased this year to 67% of those 12+. That comes out to 189 million. While there were slight gains in the 12–24 and 25–54 demographics, it’s really the 55+ group that’s leading the way, increasing from 33% last year to 40% this year. At the same time, weekly listening has jumped to 169 million. That, claims Edison and Triton, gives it about the same reach as Facebook.

The Infinite Dial’s numbers for average time spent listening has bounced around a bit over the years, but for 2019, it moved up to 16 hours, 47 minutes per week, a solid 22% increase over last year. The report posits that much of this gain may be due to the increased convenience of listening on smart speakers.

Audio books have had a long period of stability, hovering around 43% in Infinite Dial surveys from past years. This year, the number jumped to 50%, representing 141 million listeners. This, says Edison and Triton, would track well with their 20% growth in revenue over the past 12 months.

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