Smart Speakers

NPR Delivers 9.3M Monthly On-Demand Downloads

Smart speaker devices continue to gain traction in U.S. households, as 53 million people (18+) in the U.S. — 21% of the population — now own a voice-activated device. 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 joined the smart home assistant revolution as the default news experience at launch for Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Amazon Alexa devices, and remains a default provider across all the leading smart speaker models. With a simple voice command, users can stay informed throughout their day with NPR. Currently, NPR News Now alone delivers 7.9 million on-demand downloads a month on smart speakers.

Sources: (NPR on-demand downloads) Splunk NPR Podcast Logs, October-December 2018, 3-mo average. (Smart speaker ownership) The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, Winter 2018. (% of Echo owners using the “Read the news” skill) Experian Information Solutions and BI Intelligence.

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
  • 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
  • Voice Landing Pages, interactive voice experiences built for Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices, offer smart speaker users a chance to listen to your brand’s custom audio, developed with NPM Creative

Voice Landing Pages

Give NPR briefings listeners the chance to hear your custom Brand Soundscapes with Voice Landing Pages — interactive voice experiences built for Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices.

Voice Landing Pages are available for access by invoking an audio command, promoted in the NPR Flash Briefing :15 post-roll or in your other NPR sponsorship placements. The Voice Landing Page is built by NPM Creative and is able to be launched without users downloading any skill, action or app onto their smart speaker device.

 

Voice Landing Page Specs

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

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research is a recurring study on trends in smart speaker ownership and voice assistant user behavior. Since its first release in 2017, the Report has revealed trends in smart speaker adoption and usage, and insight into how voice technology is shaping consumer attitudes and behaviors.

The Winter 2018 release confirms continued increases in U.S. smart speaker ownership, with 53M U.S. adults (18+) — 21% of the population — now owning at least one smart speaker. And, the total number of devices in homes has increased 78% year-over-year. With 52% of all smart speaker owners now using their device daily, findings show that voice-activated technology is increasingly integrated into millions of people’s everyday lives.

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.