Radio is relevant

How Alexa is affecting advertising and listener habits

For the first time in years, consumers are looking up from their screens. Visual interfaces are starting to be replaced with voice, in what marketers are calling ‘the golden age of audio’. Gartner Research predicts that 2020 will see 75% of US households owning smart speakers, with 30% of web browsing done via screen-less interfaces.

Now, new research suggests that smart speakers are already changing listening habits and perceptions of audio advertising. Getting Vocal surveyed over 1,000 UK adults and carried out in-depth interviews. Its focus was Amazon Echo, the smart speaker market leader.

1. Audio listening is up

Echo appears to be the perfect tool for accessing music. Users reported increased time spent listening to live radio and music streams. Users praised Echo’s ease of usage when it came to listening to music, saying that they weren’t doing “new things”, but “doing things we were already doing, just more of them”.

71% and 73 of users respectively claimed to listen to radio and music streaming services more frequently.

2. Radio is relevant

Listening to the radio dominates Echo usage. According to RAJAR MIDAS, Echo users tune in to over 3 million hours of live radio every week through the device, meaning that it accounts for almost three-quarters of all Echo time spent with audio entertainment.

Importantly for marketers, radio advertising was cited as the “most natural” source of advertising on Echo.

3. Audio branding

The report concludes that defining a consistent audio brand is necessary for advertisers. They highlight consistency in use of language, music, and voice, in order to drive brand recognition and engagement.

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