The Smart Audio Report

April 2020

The Spring 2020 Smart Audio Report confirms 77% of U.S. adults have had a change in their typical routine due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and voice-assistant usage has expanded during these disruptions. With 41% percent of the U.S. population saying they are staying at home and not leaving unless it is an emergency and 54% only going to places they feel safe and/or are necessary, new research shows how smart speakers and voice assistants are increasingly becoming a part of their everyday lives.

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Among the Key Findings


of voice-assistant users say they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day, compared to 46% before the outbreak.


of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak, and 52% of 18-34-year-olds say the same.


of U.S. adult smart speaker owners are listening to more news and information since the COVID-19 outbreak, and 50% of those ages 18-34 say the same.

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Watch how people use smart speakers and voice assistants in their daily routines

Voice commands aren’t just for smart speakers. This year, The Smart Audio report explores the wider category of voice assistants and their usage on smartphones and other devices both inside and outside of the home.

Voice Assistants & Routine

Voice Assistants Across Devices

Profile: Brittanie

Profile: Ashley

Profile: Jennifer


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Download Previous Smart Audio Report Releases

Winter 2019Spring 2019 Winter 2018Spring 2018Winter 2017Spring 2017

How the Spring 2020 Study Was Conducted: Methodology

The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020 is based upon a national telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted December 31, 2019 through January 5, 2020, and a national online survey of 1,660 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted March 31, 2020 through April 1, 2020. Ethnographic interviews were conducted in Denver, Kansas City, and Orlando. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space.  Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.

About NPR

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (, and now it’s easy to listen to stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, “Play NPR,” and you’ll be tuned into your local Member station’s live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, the NPR One skill, NPR News Now, and Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

More Insights from National Public Media

smart speaker
January 2020

Smart Audio Report: 60M U.S. Adults Own A Smart Speaker

The Winter 2019 Smart Audio Report confirmed continued growth in the smart speaker market with 24% of U.S. adults — 60M people — owning at least one smart speaker device.

September 2018

At NPR, Sponsor Messages Are 23% More Memorable

NPR commissioned a study by Neuro-Insight to demonstrate the effectiveness of sponsor messages in comparison to traditional radio ads. The results? NPR’s sponsor messages are 23% more memorable than traditional radio ads. Learn why.

March 2020

Brandweek 2019: NPR on the Importance of Authenticity and Power of Audio

At Brandweek 2019, NPR and its sponsorship team spoke about the power of authentic brands and harnessing the changing audio landscape.

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