Will Santa Be Bringing a Smart Speaker to Someone You Know?

Last week it was reported that Triton Digital now says about a sixth of the listening to streams of commercial broadcasters in the U.S. is occurring on Smart Speakers – up from 11% a year ago. At the same time, Triton says total listening hours to commercial radio streams increased year over year. At least some of that lift is on the backs of local broadcasters connecting the dots for listeners and telling them exactly what to say to Alexa or Hey Google to get their stations to play.

As of this summer, three in eight Smart Speaker owners complained that they’d had problems getting a Smart Speaker to play a station they wanted to hear. While we think that’s still too high, it is down from just under half at the start of 2019 – even as the number of people with Smart Speakers in their lives continues to climb.

So, we’re eager to field our 15th NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study in January 2020 to see what Smart Speaker penetration looks like now. With prices low and so much buzz about the devices, you can expect that lots of people will be finding a Smart Speaker under their Christmas tree. We’d seen the bedroom as the main location for the first wave of Smart Speakers and now see more showing up in living and family rooms as people add a second (or third) Smart Speaker.

We’ll waiting (impatiently) to learn how many early adopters there are for Echo Auto gain. Our experiences with them among team NuVoodoo have been good. But these new devices give listeners even more options in the car and ratchet up the competition that much more for terrestrial radio.

Over the past 14 studies, we’ve studied what digital channels get used most by likely Nielsen ratings participants, the radio station marketing messages that have actually caused them to change their listening and what motivates them to participate in the radio ratings to begin with. We’ll continue to dive deep to know the best contest prizes and the best contest-activation methods.

For our 15th study, we’re asking for your input on what new questions you’d like us to explore. You’ll find a short survey at: nuvoodoo.com/rps15. The questionnaire includes a page gathering your interest in areas we’ve looked at in the past. Then there’s ample opportunity to weigh in open-ended about what you’d like us to cover in the new study. You should be done in less than five minutes.

2019 has been a busy year at NuVoodoo. We conducted five free webinars for the industry in 2019 (which live on at nuvoodoo.com/webinars). We presented a live, interactive game show at Worldwide Radio Summit in Burbank to highlight findings from our Ratings Prospects Studies. And we attended at least a dozen other industry and client group meetings around the country to empower broadcasters with the latest information and the latest tools. We’re looking forward to 2020 and hope you are too.