mart speakers are now used by more than 60 million U.S. adults with a 40% annual growth rate and there are twice as many monthly active users of voice assistants on smartphones. The adoption rate of voice is actually faster in many countries that have more recently gained access to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Voice assistants quickly transitioned from a novelty to a robust and active consumer engagement channel.
Smart speakers and voice assistants in general are turning out to be a more important consumer shift for radio than mobile. To give radio broadcasters a quick tutorial on how to succeed on Alexa, last week XAPPmedia held a 30-minute webinar which discussed key market data, listener stats and best practices related to putting radio on Alexa.
NPR revealed in an interview with MediaPost that its streaming listening through Amazon Alexa devices grew 242% between November and February. Alexa now accounts for 13.3% of all NPR’s live streaming, up from just 3.9% in late 2017. When listening on any device triples over a 3-4 month period, every general manager and program director is going to take note.
Many podcasters are surprised when their podcast shows up on Alexa, usually through a TuneIn integration. This is great until someone actually tries to listen - it is a totally broken user experience. That is what we set out to address with Voice Cast for Podcasters.
Federated Media’s B100 was the first radio station to create a custom Alexa skill almost a year ago with the help of XAPPmedia. Recently, Radio Ink interviewed Federated’s Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Programming, James Derby, about how smart speakers fit into the radio broadcaster’s strategy.
Voice is changing the way consumers interact with technology and how they search for information. Google acknowledges that over 20% of search is now by voice and comScore’s prediction that it will trend toward 50% by 2020 is looking increasingly likely. Smart speakers are accelerating this trend. Why should brands care?
The biggest technology story of 2017 was clearly the rapid rise in smart speaker adoption and proliferation of voice assistant access into everyday appliances. XAPP quickly recognized the importance of this shift in consumer technology adoption for media organizations and brands. In 2016, we began optimizing our interactive voice platform, One Voice AI, to enable companies to quickly establish a presence on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana individually and simultaneously.
Today, XAPP’s newest partner, SurferNETWORK announced our collaboration to bring even more radio stations and podcasters to Amazon Alexa and other voice assistants. We are excited to be working with the SurferNETWORK team because of their 19-years of experience bringing radio, sports teams, independent artists and labels, and more the ability to distribute their content on mobile and web.