Research Report: Most Recent Australian Smart Speaker Adoption Figures - Edison Research Smart Audio report Australia

Voice technology, conversational AI, ambient computing… These futuristic sounding emerging technologies have now become more widespread. It’s not uncommon to see someone at a bus stop nattering shopping lists into their phone, or hear the words “hey Google” in the middle of a dinner party. It’s a technology which has the potential to revolutionise the way we interact with our devices, which is big news for any business reliant on screen based internet devices.

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The latest Smart Audio Report Australia from Edison Research dives into the details to understand the behavior of Australians when it comes to smart speakers, smart assistants and all things voice. The results should unsettle any business without a voice strategy in place.

 

If you don’t have a smart speaker in your house you may be wondering “who even uses these things”. The Smart Audio Report states adoption in Australia is rapidly increasing. 5.6 million Australians age 12+ now have at least one smart speaker in their home. This is over a quarter, or 26% which is up from 17% in 2020 - and from only 5% in 2018. 

 

26% isn’t a lot, what's the panic you may ask.

The study also shows that smart speakers are changing the way people interact with other technology: 49% say they are using their voice-operated assistant on their smartphone more since getting a smart speaker, and 40% say they spend less time with other technology since getting their smart speaker. 

 

Couple this statistic with the fact 49% of smart speaker users have used their devices to communicate with a brand, product, or service, or commence or complete a purchase and the need to innovate, or at least experiment with voice and conversational AI becomes a no brainer, right?

If your entire business relies on traditional screen based web based consumption it’s time to consider how to make your business more conversational.

“Smart speakers have fundamentally changed the way people interact with media. The technology is influencing usage on other devices such as the smartphone. It is a good bet that the Australian population will continue to grow more comfortable with this technology and opportunities will grow for those in audio and advertising if they embrace smart audio too.”

- Megan Lazovick, Vice President at Edison Research 

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Over two thirds (67%) of smart speaker owners use them daily, with 88% of owners saying they use them at least once a week 

The number of devices people own is also growing with 24% of smart speaker owners now claiming to have 3 or more. Currently the average number of smart speakers owned is 1.9 per household.

This suggests user satisfaction is indeed high, as is intention to purchase. The study uncovered there are an additional 8.7 million devices tipped to be added to homes all over the country. With 61% of existing owners planning to buy another one and 38% of non-owners planning to buy one in the next 6 months.

There is one simple reason users are flocking to these devices. Smart speakers allow people to multi-task. Hands full, busy, dirty or clean. They provide content and information in a way that complements everyday life: In a typical week, 67% of smart speaker owners listen to the device while doing chores, 63% listen while cooking, and 57% listen when entertaining. 

 

This is a game changer for anyone who needs their hands and eyes for other things such as driving, working, cooking or parenting.

Smart speakers are a Godsend to parents. 51% of those with children in the household said reducing screen time was a reason they purchased a smart speaker, and 69% agree that the devices have made it easier to entertain children.

Most parents of preschoolers would agree, having Google and Alexa on hand to “PLAY THE WIGGLES” is a savior.

 

How does Australian smart speaker ownership stack up with American ownership?

In percentages, US adoption is higher by a nose. According to a similar report done by Edison Research in The States, ownership was at 17% in 2018 and climbed more gradually to 33% in 2021. This reflects a much more rapid uptake in Australia.

“...it is hard to say smart speakers are anything but an astounding success as a product category. There are now 95 million U.S. adults that have at least one and 50% of device owners use them daily. That is a formidable product category with intense user loyalty.”

- Bret Kinsella, Voicebot.ai 

By understanding how consumers are using voice and conversational AI, businesses can start thinking about where their own customers could save time and energy to deliver personalised content and solutions at scale.

 

The Smart Audio Report Australia 2021, the first robust study of smart speaker usage, attitudes, and behavior, was commissioned by major sponsor Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), with TalkVia, and conducted by Edison Research

The report can be downloaded below

Findings were presented in a webinar by Megan Lazovick, Vice President at Edison Research, and Jaime Chaux, Head of Digital at Commercial Radio Australia. The webinar can be viewed here

 

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