Smart Speakers

NPR’s Alexa and Google Home Flash Briefings Get 11M Monthly Streams

Smart speaker devices continue to gain traction in U.S. households, as one-in-six Americans now owns a voice-activated device, up 128% from January 2017. According to Voicebot, Amazon has sold over 20 million Echo devices. And asking for news is one of the most popular commands on smart speaker devices: 66% of Amazon Echo owners request to “read the news” with Alexa.

NPR joins the smart home assistant revolution as the default news experience in Google Home, Apple HomePod, and was the default Flash Briefing provider on Amazon Alexa devices at launch in 2014. With a simple voice command, users can stay informed throughout their day with NPR. Currently, both Google Home and Amazon Alexa deliver the NPR News Now flash briefing, updated every hour, to one million weekly users with 11M monthly streams. 

Sources: Splunk NPR Podcast Logs, Nov. 17 – Jan. 18, 3-mo average. Smart speaker ownership data via The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, Fall/Winter 2017. (% of Echo owners using the “Read the news” skill) Experian Information Solutions and BI Intelligence. (Amazon sales) Soper, Taylor. Amazon sales via Voicebot, October 27, 2017. (Smart speaker awareness and ownership) Edison Research, 2017, Infinite Dial.

Smart Speaker Sponsorship Opportunities

As an organization built around audio, voice has always been a primary element of brand creative across NPR platforms. Now, sponsors can align with NPR as a forerunner in the voice-activated speaker experience. Sponsorship opportunities include:

  • :15 post-roll spots after 5-minute briefings from NPR News Now, which gets 11 million monthly streams
  • Targeting capabilities by device and geography offer sponsors an innovative and seamless way to reach engaged audiences on Amazon and Google smart speaker devices – from launching a brand’s skill to purchasing a product

NPR Flash Briefing Users

Reach a desirable audience: NPR flash briefing users on Google Home and Alexa-enabled devices are young, educated and affluent.

42%

are ages 18-34

79%

have a college degree or higher

66%

have a HHI of $75K+

26%

are parents with children under 18

42%

are ages 18-34

79%

have a college degree or higher

66%

have a HHI of $75K+

26%

are parents with children under 18

Source: Alexa/Google Home NPR Newscast Listener Survey January 2018

Sponsor Success Story: Peppercorn Media

 

NPR’s sponsorship team is working with brands and agencies to help share insight and learnings about the smart speaker audience, user behavior and where brands are finding success in connecting on this platform. And also to help amplify branded experiences on a platform where discovery can be a challenge. 

Peppercorn Media worked with NPR to promote their new “Word of the Day Quiz” Alexa Skill to people while they were actively using the device to listen to the NPR Flash Briefing. Within the first week, more than 10K people responded to the promo to immediately play the quiz. That’s a 5.5% conversation rate. And the audience stuck around: The following week, the Skill saw an increase of 3K more users than the week prior. 

New Findings from NPR and Edison Research

New smart speaker ownership data from NPR and Edison Research confirms the impact the 2017 holiday season had on smart speaker ownership in the U.S. Now, one-in-six Americans (16%) owns a voice-activated smart speaker, up 128% from January 2017. The Smart Audio Report, Fall/Winter 2017 release also reveals how voice-activation in the home is fueling adoption of smart technology broadly – including smart home applications – and affecting how often consumers engage with other platforms throughout the day, including television.

NPR One in Smart Speaker Devices

To extend NPR’s home assistant footprint, NPR partnered with Amazon to create the NPR One skill, which gives listeners access to their favorite NPR programs on smart speaker systems. With the NPR One skill, users use their voice to active and enjoy a personalized collection of stories and podcasts from NPR and local public radio stations.

With the request, “Alexa, play NPR One,” or “Ok Google, play NPR One,” users can continue getting ready for work or cooking dinner. NPR’s high-quality audio storytelling remains in this platform, keeping users informed in the comfort of their homes.

 

Discover Smart Speakers

Amazon Alexa

Amazon’s Alexa platform is available on a growing number of devices, including the Echo family. With simple voice commands, Alexa can read the news, play music, control smart homes, and more. Whether at home or on the go, Alexa is is designed to make life easier by letting users voice-control their world. 

Google Home

The Google Home voice-activated speaker streams music, news, manages tasks, accesses home controls and more. When users say “Ok Google,” the Google Assistant launches and completes commands. Google Home debuted in November 2016, and offers far-field voice recognition and Hi-Fi speakers, among other features.

 

Photos courtesy of Amazon and Google.

Source: (Echo ownership) Soper, Taylor. “More than 8M people own an Amazon Echo as customer awareness increases ‘dramatically’.” Geek Wire, 25 Jan. 2017, http://www.geekwire.com/2017/8-million-people-amazon-echo-customer-awareness-increases-dramatically/. Accessed 17 Mar. 2017.