The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research

Smart speakers – Amazon Echo and Google Home, for example – are dramatically affecting the daily lives of Americans who own them. A new study from NPR and Edison Research offers the first in-depth look at the behaviors and attitudes of Americans who already have smart speaker devices in their homes – a fast-growing market – and those who do not.


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Smart Speakers Are Increasingly Essential to Everyday Life

Smart speakers owners rely on their devices for a variety of tasks – from checking the news, setting timers and alarms, and adding to their shopping lists. On average, owners say they use their smart speakers for 7.5 common tasks during their week.

In addition, 65% of smart speaker owners indicate they would not want to go back to life before getting their devices, and 42% say their device is now “essential” to their everyday life.

Smart Speakers Encourage More Audio Listening

This large-scale study reveals that 70% of smart speaker owners say they are listening to more audio at home since acquiring their device – across news/talk, podcasts, audiobooks and music.

Each week, smart speaker owners are on average listening to more music, news and podcasts on their smart speakers. 


“The frictionless way in which these devices enable audio consumption is already changing listening behaviors, and potentially increasing audio consumption overall.” – Edison VP of Strategy Tom Webster

Smart Speakers Make Life Easier

Another important finding is the appeal of these devices in the home. Smart speaker owners are using the devices to manage their homes. Owners who make their home “smart” say they most often connect smart speakers to control home lighting, the thermostat, home security systems, and outdoor lighting and sprinklers. 

Smart speakers are also particularly appealing to parents. Eight-in-ten parents say these devices have made it easier to entertain their children. 

As smart speaker owners continue to diversify their use of these devices, it’s no surprise that 69% have encouraged their friends to adopt the devices as well. Among smart speaker owners, 45% expect to purchase another device – and, of the non-owners surveyed, more than half say they are likely to purchase their first smart speaker in the next six months. 



Get the Smart Audio Report

Fill out the form below to download the full study, and access the multimedia presentation featuring video of smart speaker owners talking about the impact these devices are having on their lives. We’ll keep you updated with more findings from The Smart Audio Report and advancements in the category.

About the Smart Audio Report: Methodology

The Smart Audio Report is based upon a national online survey of 1620 Americans ages 18+. 800 respondents indicated that they owned at least one Smart Speaker (160 Google Home, 709 Amazon Alexa-enabled, and 69 who owned both). 820 respondents did not own a Smart Speaker device, and were surveyed for comparative purposes. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2017 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world, and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, CBS, PodcastOne, WNYC, and many more leading companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

About NPR

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans everyday—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 consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information at and following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.