Google is Giving Away Nest Mini Smart Speakers to YouTube Premium and Play Music Subscribers in U.S. One Day After Google Home Discontinued
Google has a quiet program underway that offers a free Nest Mini Smart Speaker to YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium, and Google Play Music subscribers. However, you only appear to be eligible if you were a subscriber to one of those three services as of May 19, 2020. You can’t just sign up for YouTube Music Premium today and get your free smart speaker through this program and there are no promotions for that service right now other than your first month is free.
The giveaway appears to be limited to the U.S. users at this point. Many users of Canada and the UK have confirmed they are not eligible for this offer. If you have taken advantage of a previous smart speaker promotion, it also appears you may be ineligible. The devices are available on a “first come, first served basis” so it is likely they will be gone long before the June 30th promotion expiration.
You can check out the link here to see if you are eligible after you log into your Google account. This Nest Mini is one of the most popular smart speakers globally. Voicebot data show it represents 16.5% of the installed base of smart speakers in the U.S., about 50% higher than the Google Home which is no longer available for purchase.
Google Nest Mini is available for purchase on Google’s website today for $39 in the U.S., a $10 discount off of the list price. During holiday sales the devices have routinely been discounted to under $30. So, it is not an extraordinary giveaway from a monetary standpoint, but consumers really like free items as is evident in Reddit forum discussions of the promotion.
It is interesting that Google is using this as a reward for existing customers and not as a promotion to sign up new customers. Spotify has had documented success in adding new subscribers through its own series of Nest Mini giveaways.
Why Now for a Nest Mini Giveaway
It is interesting to consider why Google is running this promotion now. Google Home is no longer available to purchase as of yesterday, at least for sale through Google’s online store. Voicebot has speculated that this foreshadows an imminent announcement of a second-generation device likely to be called the Nest Home. Could the Nest Mini giveaway be a precursor for a new generation announcement as well?
Google generally does hardware announcements at their big fall product launch event. However, they sometimes introduce new products around Google I/O as they did last year with the Nest Home Max smart display. Google I/O didn’t happen this year and it is unclear whether a large press gathering for a product launch event even in October would be advisable this year. So, typically patterns are disrupted and the introduction of a new generation of the flagship Home product along with an upgraded Mini would make sense. It also appears that Google might be interested in adding more compute and memory power to its smart speakers to enable improved voice recognition performance and user privacy.
All of these point to a potential for a new Mini. If you are about to introduce a new product but have a lot in inventory unsold, what do you do with them? Giving them to your loyal customers of other Google services seems like a good move. It also puts more Google smart speakers out in circulation which is the company’s primary motive regardless.
In addition, Google Play Music is shutting down this year. Google is asking users to migrate over to YouTube Music. Any disruption to an existing service could be a catalyst for consumers to consider moving to Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, or Apple Music. Giving those loyal Google Play Music subscribers and easy migration to YouTube Music and a free Nest Mini may help minimize churn.
MIDiA Research estimates YouTube Music had about 5% of global market share at about 16 million subscribers in the second half of 2019. That was only good enough for fifth place globally behind Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and Tencent. So, Google would clearly benefit from growing but it also wants to keep its existing customers on board.