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CRA’s Smart Audio Report urges advertisers to tap into smart speaker habits

Australia’s first Smart Audio Report, commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and TalkVia, and carried out by Edison Research, has found that smart speaker owners are a highly engaged audience for brands to tap into.

The report, which was produced after a survey of 5,000 Australians 18 and older between 19 April and 5 May, 2021, was presented virtually to the industry by Edison Research vice president, Megan Lazovick.

She was joined by CRA head of digital, Jamie Chaux who spoke about some specific implications for radio.

Lazovick began by referring to some data first presented as part of the Infinite Dial study, released earlier this year, which found that 26% of Australians aged 12 and over own a smart speaker, significantly up from 5% in 2018.

She then moved on the Smart Audio Report, which found that of all smart speaker owners, most use them regularly. 67% of those surveyed used their speaker daily and 88% use them weekly.

“One people own a device, it becomes part of their routine,” Lazovick said. “Using voice commands has become a habit for most smart speaker owners in Australia.”

Usage Of Smart Speakers [click to enlarge]

But 63% of owners surveyed admitted they don’t know enough about smart speakers to use all of its features.

Lazovick put the onus on brands and marketers to create specific messaging that prompts listeners to interact with content and the speakers.

“People don’t know what they don’t know. Your messaging can help them navigate their own devices,” she said.

The Smart Audio report also found that people who owned smart speakers are now spending less time with other tech. 40% now spend less time with other technology since buying a smart speaker, showing that “smart speakers are disconnecting people from screens.”

Top Smart Speaker Requests [click to enlarge]

Other listening habits are being disrupted as well. 49% of smart speaker owners who own a smartphone started using voice assistant on their smartphone since getting a smart speaker.

Meanwhile 59% of smart speaker owners are listening to more audio since getting a smart speaker. 61% of owners plan to purchase another smart speaker.

“Smart speakers are creating voice assistant habits,” Lazovick told those who tuned into the virtual conference. “It creates potential for more audio consumption.”

It’s not just listening habits that have changed, but consumption and purchasing habits. 31% of those who have ever used voice assistants have added an item to their cart using the speaker, 33% have interacted with a brand, product or service via their speaker.

“Advertisers have long known that audio is an important part of a media buy. Local radio is a powerful tool in audio buying. These new listening habits are creating new opportunities for smart content creators and smart advertisers,” Lazovick said.

Voice Assistants – Interacting With Brands [click to enlarge]

He referred to examples include SCA’s recent launch of The Locals Guide with Tourism & Events Queensland, who use it to showcase key upcoming events.

Meanwhile, Nova Entertainment has been giving brands the opportunity to interact with station content, through prompts like: ‘Ask Nova to enter me in the competition’.

Chaux said the “big take out” is that audio is the primary use case for smart speakers [and the streaming of live radio is a big part of that usage.

“This does create new advertiser opportunities for brands to get their messages across. You can start to hear that already with ads delivered for smart speaker users. Future advertiser opportunities are going to grow.”

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