Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Smart Speakers Drive New Music Consumption Habits

AudienceNet says smart speakers and music subscription services fuel each other’s growth

When smart speakers burst onto the scene last Christmas they heralded the coming of the voice-activated internet, and many thought, a return of radio to the home environment. A research study prepared for the Music Business Association by the market research firm AudienceNet also seems to suggest a strong link between smart speaker sales and an uptick in listenership to music subscription services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.

The report was based on a survey of a statistically and demographically representative sample of the U.S. population comprised of 3,000 participants, aged 16+. The results were recently presented in a webinar hosted by AudienceNet and the MBA’s Music Biz.

[Read: Smart Speaker Owners Listen to More Audio (But Not Necessarily Radio)]

According to a separate study from research firm Canalysis, sales of smart speakers have skyrocketed by nearly 200% in the second quarter alone. AudienceNet claims that an estimated 14% of the U.S. population now owns a smart speaker, and listening to music is the dominant use case among owners.

Another interesting finding from AudienceNet is that 43% of smart-speaker owners now use on-demand streaming services, and 37% of owners started paying for these services after purchasing their device. This comes on the heels of a report published by Adobe Systems in September, which said that by 2019, nearly half of American households will own a smart speaker.

According to the AudienceNet survey, AM/FM radio was still the most popular listening source in the U.S. accounting for 31% of total listening time. That’s a drop of 3% since last year’s survey was completed. And, AM/FM radio only accounted for 12% of listening among 16–24 year olds. AudienceNet’s numbers suggest that listenership to radio and CD players is very low among 16–24 year olds, but grows in a linear fashion as participants got older, peaking among those age 65+ at 45%.

Smartphones were the primary listening choice among younger respondents, taking the majority share of listening among all aged 34 and below (45% for ages 16–19, 40% for ages 20–24, and 31% for ages 25–34). The smartphone also proved to be single most used device for music consumption, capturing 25% of total time spent listening — up 6% from the same study last year.

[Want more information like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get it delivered right to your inbox.]