Alexa, Siri, Hey Google...What Smart Speakers Mean for Local Radio

Last updated by Stephanie Theisen

Smart speakers have been taking the world by storm. According to Jacob's Media Strategies, 33% of people own a smart speaker—three times more than in 2017. What is it about this new technology that is speaking to the masses?

Smart Speaker Ownership Chart

The Age of On-Demand

Person streaming on computer and phoneAs we see from the rise in streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc., people want what they want, when they want it. According to Statista, 62% of U.S. adults currently subscribe to a streaming service. This is a clear indication of the age of on-demand. The ease of access and use is seriously appealing, especially to millennials.

Voice enabled devices have created bold new opportunities for radio stations and their business partners alike.

People like the familiar on-air talent and the comfort of community connection, but want to access it differently... they want it all through today's most innovative listening technology.

Smart Business

In this awakening of smart speakers, and VSO (voice-search optimization), businesses that advertise through radio need to be excited about this changing landscape!

The Smart Audio Report, conducted by NPR and Edison Research, found that 52% of voice-assistant users say they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day. Radio has a huge chance here to tap into this extra listening time, and our business partners have a huge opportunity here to increase impressions.

Radio is alive

Person tuning the car radio

Listening in the car is trending up and smart speakers are a chance for people to access the wholesome radio content more often, and in a new, modern way. Alexa is a great resource for local news, commentary, and FREE music.

With the upturn in usage of this new technology, more people are listening to radio, and accessing the radio is easier than ever. It is on-demand.

Because the radio industry is ever evolving, we've adapted as well with Leighton Engage. They are our sister company with expertise in both terrestrial radio and digital advertising; able to help broadcast clients add a digital component to an existing radio schedule. This combination has proven to bring in greater ROI than either tactic on it's own.

For instance, if a local store is looking to hire new employees, Leighton Engage can supplement their on-air ads with coinciding digital strategy targeted to users in their geographic footprint who are in-market for a new gig.

Alexa and Local Radio

Woman working and using smart speakerIn order to access the radio ability, users must enable the skill on their smart speaker. You can do this by going to the Alexa app on your phone, clicking the three stacked lines icon, and clicking on skills. From there you will be able to ask smart speakers to "Play 104.7 KCLD" or whatever station you're looking for.

Radio is Changing

As all good things do, radio is changing and expanding. Stepping into this arena of smart speakers is a great opportunity for local radio stations. Research shows that people enjoy listening to the radio, so, making it more available and modernizing the process is a win-win-win for stations, businesses, and listeners alike.

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