As ownership/listening increase, smart speakers could shift balance of power in advertising

According to a newly released consumer survey study by Adobe, twice as many smart speaker users report hearing advertisements than in the year-ago study. When you consider Amazon’s lead over Google in the realm of smart speaker devices, a general shift in the balance of advertising power could be underway as the marketplace becomes more saturated with the devices.

To put more details into that datum, 85% of the respondents who hear audio advertisements said they hear them repeatedly. And a majority of people say the speaker-delivered ads are less intrusive than other delivery platforms like TV and social media.

Here are three key findings about smart speaker ads, compiled by an Axios review of the study:

  • 58% of consumers find smart speaker ads to be less intrusive than other major formats (TV, print, online, social). That’s up from 43% in May 2019.
  • Similar majorities say they find speaker ads more engaging and more relevant to their needs and interests.
  • 53% reported that a smart speaker ad eventually drove them to make a purchase, up from 39% in May 2019.

Other study metrics cover more familiar ground:

  • 39% of respondents said they own a smart speaker, up from 36% in February 2019 and 28% in January 2018.
  • Among those who do own a smart speaker, 46% said that they used the devices’ voice assistants more often during the three-month period from April through July than they had previously.
  • Listening to music remains the most popular use (reported by 60% of survey respondents), followed by asking about the weather (55%), “asking fun questions” (46%) and searches (45%).
  • Roughly 39% of people said they used their smart speakers for each of the following: basic information queries, checking the news, and setting reminders or alarms.



Brad Hill