Although smart speaker introduce new capabilities, most consumers are demonstrating through their behavior that the tried is still fundamental to the experience, and hear more audio tops the list of their habits.
According to findings from Nielsen's MediaTech Trender Survey, a quarterly consumer tracking survey, of the U.S. homes that have a smart speaker (e.g., Amazon Echo or Google Home), four out of 10 have more than one device in the household. Furthermore, 62% of smart speaker owners first started using the device within the last six months, with 45% planning to purchase more devices for their home.
But even with futuristic, innovative services available at their fingertips, smart speaker users are still overwhelmingly using their devices to listen to audio; nearly all (90%) say they listen to music on the speaker in a typical week, while 68% listen to news.
Voice commands, a key component and marquee capability of smart speakers, are also highly utilized. About 81% of users report using voice-command searches for real-time information, such as weather and traffic conditions, during a typical week. When looking for factual information, such as answers to trivia or historical facts, 75% of users report turning to their smart speaker in a typical week. Users also enjoy smart speakers for their quirkier, yet cutting-edge features: 68% of them use the device to chat with the voice assistant for fun.
When looking at devices that users typically sync to their smart speakers, mobile phones are used the most, with over a third of users linking the two devices. Smart phones have reached the point of ubiquity, with 90% of TV households having access to a smartphone according to the Q1 Nielsen Total Audience Report. Mobile phones, however, aren't the only way users might be playing their favorite songs via smart speaker: audio streaming apps were the most likely application to be synced to the device (53% of users). At 52% of users, shopping apps were a close second.
In second-quarter 2018, 24% of homes owned a smart speaker device, according to the MediaTech Trender (up from 22% in Q1 2018). When breaking down usage during a typical day, people spend more time using their smart speakers on the weekend (average 72 total minutes) than the weekday (average 65 total minutes). Usage also increases throughout the day regardless of whether it's a weekend or weekday, with peak use into the late evening.