A recent survey conducted by NPR and Edison Research shows that 54 percent of the US population has used some form of voice-command technology, such as smart speakers and smartphone voice assistants. “The Smart Audio Report” also found that 24 percent of the US population (over 60 million) own a smart speaker.

The average smart speaker household now owns 2.6 devices, up from 2.3 devices per household at the same time last year and up from 1.7 in December of 2017. This represents a 135 percent increase in the number of smart speakers in US households in two years. Of the respondents who use voice assistants, 24 percent said they use the technology daily. Juniper Research predicts there will be over 870 billion voice assistant-enabled devices in the US by 2022.

A lucrative opportunity for consumer targeting, smart speakers are also becoming critical touchpoints for reaching shoppers. eMarketer estimates that 11.8 percent, or 34.7 million, consumers will use a smart speaker to make purchases this year, growing to 38 million by 2021.

Digital audio has also provided advertisers with new ways to reach target audiences as the average US adult will spend more time listening to digital audio than listening to radio in 2020. The IAB estimated US audio ad spending totaled $2.25 billion in 2018, up from 22.9 percent in 2017. 

To reach these consumers, advertisers are investing more of their ad dollars into streaming audio platforms such as Spotify and Pandora. Last month, Pandora launched mobile interactive voice ads that listeners can talk back to with a simple “yes or no” in order to reduce friction with the listener experience. Pandora’s voice ads will fill part of the gap that exists in audio ad measurement. 

Findings from “The Smart Audio Report” are based on telephone interviews with 1,015 adults ages 18 and older conducted from December 31, 2019 to January 5, 2020.