Smart Speakers Are a Key Gift Trend for 2017

It might behoove broadcasters to be early adopters of this technology
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BINGHAM FARMS, Mich. � If you thought smart speakers peaked as the �it� holiday gift of 2016, you�d be wrong. That opinion is backed up by results from a recent online study released by Jacobs Media Strategies, jacapps and Sonic Ai.

Although 18% of online households already own at least one smart speaker, another 20% of respondents age 13 and older with Internet access said the intend to buy a smart speaker during the 2017 holiday season. In fact, the study showed that almost half of of households with a smart speaker (40%) already have two or more of the gadget, and 61% of the respondents plan to purchase at least one more device.

�Smart speakers are clearly the must-have gadget for the holidays. Like anything else, habits will form quickly, which is the remarkable opportunity for broadcasters and podcasters. They need a smart audio strategy for smart speakers,� said Sonic Ai co-founder Steve Goldstein.

The study also shows that 11% of online households owns an Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker (Echo, Echo Dot and Show devices); and 69% of these owners have at least one Alexa �skill� enabled (45% have two or more skills enabled, and 24% have one enabled). However, one-third hadn�t enabled any skills for the device.

Men are more likely than women to have a smart speaker (13% as opposed to 10% of respondents owned one). But men and women were equally likely to say they planned to buy a new smart speaker (20% of each gender indicated they would do so).

The 13�34 age bracket was the most likely to jump on the bandwagon (14% did so), followed, predictably by those between the ages of 35 and 54 (10%), while only 7% of� those aged 55 and older owned one.

This study was designed by Jacobs Media Research Director Jason Hollins. From Nov. 17��21, they conducted a nationally representative web survey among 1,005 online respondents age 13 and older using the Survata Publisher Network.

�New technologies such as the proliferation of smart speaker devices undoubtedly bring challenges to the AM/FM landscape, but with that comes vast opportunities for radio as well as audio consumers alike,� said Hollins, who noted the next Techsurvey will reflect this change.