43 Million People Now Own Smart Speakers


That’s according to a new report released by Edison Research and NPR. Edison’s Tom Webster presented the data in a webinar Wednesday afternoon. Of those 43 million, 54% of the smart-speaker owners are women and 46% are men.

And, as the study points out, smart-speaker ownership has recently started to explode, with 74% owning one for less than a year and 26% owning one for more than a year. How does this latest home gadget impact radio? Let’s find out.

According to the survey, for those considered first adopters to the smart speakers, using one of these devices is now the number one way they listen to audio in their homes. And 37% of smart-speaker owners listen to more than two hours of news every week on their devices. Podcasts are also becoming a favorite listen for smart-speaker owners.

When asked what they’ve requested from their smart speakers over the past week, here are the top three answers from smart-speaker owners: play music, get the weather, and answer a general question. Fifty-five percent of smart-speaker owners also say their kids have requested the device play music. Answer a question was next (40%), followed by tell a joke (40%).

On the negative side for radio, over 40% of smart-speaker owners admit time spent with their devices is taking away from listening to traditional AM/FM radio. But, that may also mean they are simply listening on their device, rather than their alarm clock or stereo.

Results of the study also showed that 81% of smart-speaker owners are open to skills and features created by brands on smart speakers.

The online study involved 909 people that were 18 and older and owned a smart speaker. You can see the entire report HERE.


  1. The only PLUS about this for Radio is a relatively small sample size of 900. Ignoring the small sample in these studies, even if 40% of Smart Speaker owners who are listening to less radio ARE tuning in on their new devices (long shot, but OK), it’s not going to show up in the ratings. The idea that people would sit through 8-12 minutes of commercials on these In-Home devices when there is virtually unlimited, commercial-free (or close to it) content elsewhere is hilarious. Depending on the content being consumed, as far as Radio is concerned, it will help the digital numbers for TuneIn, iHeart and a few others. And last I heard, no one was making a profit from their stream. Not even the pure plays. But, these products actually help those companies increase listening and that’s proven, not a guess.


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