Smart Speaker ownership on the rise in Australia

The new Smart Audio Report Australia finds that 24% of smart speaker households own three or more of the devices, compared with 13% of smart speaker households that had three or more of the devices in 2020.

Currently, smart speaker households in Australia own an average of 1.9 of the devices.

The Smart Audio Report Australia 2021, the first robust study of smart speaker usage, attitudes, and behavior, was commissioned by major sponsor Commercial Radio Australia, with TalkVia, and conducted by Edison Research.

Findings were presented in a webinar by Megan Lazovick, Vice President at Edison Research, and Jaime Chaux, Head of Digital at Commercial Radio Australia.

Over one-quarter (26%) of Australians age 12+, around 5.6 million people, now own a smart speaker — a 53% jump from 17% ownership last year.

Smart speaker user satisfaction and intention to purchase is high, with the potential of 8.7 million devices being added to Australian households, according to the study. Of those in Australia who already own a smart speaker, 88% use them in a typical week, and 67% use them daily.

Sixty-one percent of smart speaker owners plan on purchasing another one of the devices in the future, and 38% of smart speaker non-owners say they are very or somewhat likely to purchase one in the next six months.

Smart speaker ownership in Australia is quickly catching up to ownership levels in the U.S. In 2018, only 5% of Australians owned a smart speaker compared to 18% of those in the U.S. In 2021, the gap has narrowed with 33% of those in America owning a smart speaker compared with 26% of those in Australia.

Voice assistant technology allows users to interact with brands: 49% of Australians have used some type of voice-assistant to interact with a brand, product, or service, or commence or complete a purchase.

Smart speakers allow listeners to multi-task and they provide audio to complement everyday life: In a typical week, 67% of smart speaker owners listen to the device while doing chores, 63% listen while cooking, and 57% listen when entertaining.

“Smart speakers have fundamentally changed the way people interact with media. The technology is influencing usage on other devices such as the smartphone.” said Lazovick, “It is a good bet that the Australian population will continue to grow more comfortable with this technology and opportunities will grow for those in audio and advertising if they embrace smart audio, too.”

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner said, “The increasing prevalence of smart speakers in Australian households extends access to radio to more places and more devices and demonstrates that consumers value audio and are open to the increasing possibilities of voice tech.”

The study also shows that smart speakers are changing the way people interact with other technology: 49% say they are using their voice-operated assistant on their smartphone more since getting a smart speaker, and 40% say they spend less time with other technology since getting their smart speaker.

Other key findings from The Smart Audio Report Australia include:

· Smart speakers seem to be especially useful for parents: Fifty-one percent of those with children in the household said they reducing screen time was a reason they purchased a smart speaker, and 69% agree that the devices have made it easier to entertain children.

· 61% of smart speaker owners plan to purchase another smart speaker

· 59% of smart speaker owners agree that they are listening to more audio since they got their smart speaker.

· Google continues to dominate the smart speaker market in Australia: 24% own a Google smart speaker, 3% own an Amazon smart speaker, and 1% own an Apple HomePod.

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