Smart Speaker interest by race

Nielsen Says Hispanic and Black Consumers Are More Interested in Smart Speakers

Nielsen today released its Audio Today July 2018 report on black and hispanic audiences. The report is focused on radio consumption and as a result smart speakers are prominently featured in the analysis. Overall smart speaker ownership for the survey taken in Q1 2018 found that 19% of U.S. consumers 12 years and older had access to a device. That seems about right as Voicebot’s national survey found 21.6% smart speaker adoption for a survey taken a couple of months later that only included adults in the U.S.

Smart Speakers More Popular with Hispanic and Black Consumers

Voicebot did not attempt to determine racial demographics of smart speaker owners, so Nielsen’s survey sheds some new light on the product category. Nielsen found that hispanic consumers are slight more likely to own a smart speaker than average, whites are slightly less likely and blacks are in the middle. However, with a range of 18-21%, it appears that smart speaker adoption is fairly consistent across these three racial groups. What is different is level of interest. When survey participants that did not own smart speakers were asked about their interest in the devices, 61% of black and 58% of hispanic consumers said they were very interested or somewhat interested. This finding contrasts sharply with the 36% of whites showing interest.

The finding suggests that smart speaker makers are effectively promoting the devices to black and hispanic consumers or the feature set is better aligned with their interests. On the other hand, there is work to be done in generating interest among whites. One reason for the difference may be the prominent use of smart speakers as music listening devices.

A 2018 Voicebot survey found that listening to streaming music services was the highest recorded monthly and daily use case among smart speaker owners. Nielsen data show that black and hispanic consumers outpace whites in both current use and interest in music streaming services. In fact, consumers in these minority groups are about 48% more likely to have interest in music streaming services and that closely aligns with their higher interest in smart speakers.

Credit goes to Brad Hill at RAIN News for clarifying that the interest questions were asked of non-owners/users. 

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