Smart speaker usage increases substantially due to COVID-19 quarantines

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Global quarantines due to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the use of smart speakers substantially.

According to a study released by Edison Research and NPR, three-quarters of US adults over 18 report a change in their media habits due to the pandemic.

“With tens of millions of Americans no longer commuting, smart speakers are becoming even more important as a conduit for news and information,” said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “This increased usage and facility with voice assistants will likely increase demand for this technology in vehicles once our commutes resume.”

36 percent of respondents claim to have increased their consumption of music and entertainment using their smart speaker, while 35 percent say they’re consuming more news and information through such devices.

The numbers increase further if narrowing down the results to the 18-34 age range. 52 percent of respondents between these ages claim to have increased media listening, while 50 percent report an increase in news and information consumption.

Over the past year, the total time spent getting news content using smart speakers appears to have increased. In Spring last year, 30 percent claim to have listened to over three hours per week, 40 percent said between one and three hours, and 40 percent said under an hour.

Fast-forward to Spring this year, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and 32 percent said they listened to news content for over three hours per week, 43 percent between one and three, and 25 percent under an hour.

Individuals working from home are slightly (65%) more likely to listen to the news using their smart speakers while the average is 62 percent.

The increased smart speaker usage may drive further purchases to equip other rooms with the devices. 71 percent of smart speaker owners with children are now thinking of buying another device to entertain their kids, up from 47 percent last Spring.

You can find a copy of the full report here.

(Photo by Yasin Hasan on Unsplash)

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