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 18% of Americans now own a voice-activated device. 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: (NPR streams) Splunk NPR Podcast Logs, Nov. 17 – Jan. 18, 3-mo average. (Smart speaker ownership) Edison Research, 2018, Infinite Dial. (% 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 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

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.

As more and more people adopt smart speakers, new smart speaker owners are emerging as a distinct audience in terms of user profile, behavior and media habits. The Spring 2018 release for the first time offers a preview into the realities of mainstream use and reveals opportunities across industries – from marketing and publishing to tech and services.

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.