Consumers Love Smart Speakers. They Don’t Love News on Smart Speakers. (At Least Not Yet.)
Smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are rapidly gaining in popularity, but use of news on the devices is lagging, according to a report released Wednesday night by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
Use of the devices for music and weather is still far ahead of news use. And among consumers’ complaints about news briefings: They’re too long.
Luckily, there’s time for news publishers to catch up, finds Nic Newman, a senior research associate at RISJ, who did his research via in-home interviews and focus groups, online surveys, and publisher interviews. (He also tapped Amazon, Apple, and Google for whatever data they were willing to share — which, unsurprisingly, wasn’t a lot; none of the companies would share data on how many devices they’ve sold or discuss trends in how news is consumed on them.) Smart speakers are still devices for early adopters: 14 percent of U.S. adults are now using them, compared to 10 percent of U.K. adults and 5 percent of German adults; Juniper Research predicted last year that they’ll be found in 55 percent of U.S. households by 2022.