Are Smart Speakers Really THAT Important?

Our latest free webinar, The NuVoodoo Fall 2019 Contesting and Marketing Guide, debuts this Wednesday, September 11. Register now at because this one’s jam-packed:

  • A review of contesting best practices from the NuVoodoo playbook.
  • What the key advantages of FM are among different format constituencies.
  • The Social Media platforms that your station needs for organic reach and paid reach.
  • Who skips pre-roll video ads … and who doesn’t.
  • What the best contest packaging opportunities are.
  • Who thinks radio contests are rigged – and what you can do about it.

While we have a lot to cover, we promise we’ll take no more than 45 minutes (including time to answer your questions).

We’ve been trending adoption of Smart Speakers since the summer of 2017, when they were already too numerous to ignore. Now, 51% of our sample of over 3,000 persons 14-54 across all PPM markets reports at least one Smart Speaker in their lives. If a narrow majority isn’t enough to get your attention, we’re also reporting that the penetration is two in three among respondents who profile as susceptible to accepting a meter or diary from Nielsen.

While there are lots of things you can use Smart Speakers to do, they’re called “Smart Speakers” – so lots of people use them to listen to things. Percentages are up for every category of things we’ve asked respondents about listening to via Smart Speakers. And now Smart Speaker technology is coming to the car.

NuVoodoo VP Product & Business Development, PJ Kling, and I are recent adopters of Amazon’s new Echo Auto. With Alexa in the car, the barrier to selecting FM/AM vs. Spotify vs. podcasts and/or audiobooks is gone. If you think of it, it’s usually an easy matter to get Alexa to play what you want. It means that:

  • You’re listening to the stream of the terrestrial station that had popped to mind.
  • You notice how awful the digital-only inventory can be on some streams.
  • You notice poor audio processing on some streams.
  • You’re occasionally frustrated when Alexa comes up with the wrong “Q-102” or says she can’t find a station (or podcast or playlist, for that matter).

Alexa’s still not as easy to manipulate as a thumbwheel or toggle on the steering wheel. So, I find myself switching from one station to another a little less reflexively. PJ’s had his Echo Auto a little longer and says, “It’s not perfect, but after playing with Echo Auto for a couple of weeks, it’s scarier for Radio than I thought it would be … because it’s easier than I thought it would be.”

He and I will dive deep into all things related to contests and marketing, divvied up by ratings likelies, demos and format constituencies (including thirteen slices of music P1’s and four types of talk P1’s) in The NuVoodoo Fall 2019 Contesting and Marketing Guide this week. Register at