24% of Cumulus radio streams are on smart speakers; and interesting ad campaign results

“Smart speaker ownership soars and brings AM/FM back into the home,” writes Pierre Bouvard in a new Westwood One blog post. A key statistic from the parent company backs this up: 24% of stream listening to Cumulus radio stations happens on smart speakers.

That’s exactly the sort of metric radio has been hoping for, indicating as it does that proliferating smart speakeer use in the home might replace traditional receivers which are vanishing from homes. According to the Share of Ear study from Edison Research, a subscription product which Westwood One frequently shares on its blog, smart speakers have surged by a multiple of five in ownership, increasing from 7% in 2017 to 35% as of Q3 2020.

Cumulus has enough confidence in smart speaker listenership on the streaming side, that  it booked an ad campaign with The Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers Association, which runs as a preroll when someone instructs Alexa or Google Assistant to play a Cumulus radio station.

Other interesting stats from Westwood One:

  • Smart speaker ownership profile: Upscale, employed, and educated: According to Nielsen Scarborough, the profile of the smart speaker owner skews employed and professional, and over-indexes on college-educated, with $100K+ household income.
  • AM/FM radio is number one in ad-supported audio share on American smart speakers, according to Edison’s “Share of Ear.”
  • Smart speaker users are an ideal audio audience to reach in-market auto buyers: Per Nielsen Scarborough, U.S. smart speaker owners are an unbelievable media platform to reach American new car buyers. Smart speaker owners are 26% more likely to be in the market for a new vehicle in the next 12 months.
  • Consumers exposed to the Cumulus smart speaker pre-roll ads were more likely to be aware of the Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers Association: Smart speaker listeners to Cumulus stations were +24% more likely to say they were “extremely familiar or very familiar” with the Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers Association, 42% exposed versus 34% unexposed.
  • Likelihood of visiting a Ford dealer in the next 3 months was +63% greater among those exposed to the smart speaker pre-roll ads.


Brad Hill