The impact on podcasters of the growing penetration of smart speakers is illuminated in the latest Nielsen Total Audience Report. The data shows two-thirds of smart speaker owners report they’ve listened to a podcast or audiobook on their device within the past week. That may be fewer than listen to music or news, but Nielsen says more people listen to podcasts than shop on a smart speaker. But as more people interact with smart devices, including making purchases, Nielsen says it creates a “perfect storm for marketers to pitch an often engaged consumer.” The report also notes that smart speakers can now be found in 28% of U.S. households. That’s up from 22% in 2018. “Smart speakers are amplifying audio use through their versatility, portability and functionality,” the report says.
When examining the broader audio landscape, the data shows broadcast AM/FM radio (92%) with nearly double the reach of streaming audio (50%, up from 43% one year earlier). “Radio remains the centerpiece of the audio universe, reaching more U.S. adults each week at 92% than any other media platform,” Nielsen says in the report.
Yet the new data also validates the growth of streaming audio with half of all adults now also using use their smartphones to stream audio, a 16% increase over 2018, while 20% stream through their tablets (up from 13%) and 16% listen to satellite radio (an increase from 14% last year.
Across all nine media platforms tracked by Nielsen, adults in the U.S. continue to increase their overall cross-media diet. Consumers now spend 11 hours and 27 minutes per day interacting with media across TV, TV-connected devices, radio, computers, smartphones and tablets. That’s 21 minutes of additional media exposure across all platforms from first-quarter 2018. While that makes up nearly half (48%) of the total minutes available in a day, some of the consumption is simultaneous usage across devices via multitasking.
“Consumers are connecting to this fragmented content at unparalleled rates—well over 11 hours each day across screens and devices,” says Peter Katsingris, Senior VP of Audience Insights at Nielsen. “So it’s never been more critical for content owners and marketers to cut through the clutter, and maybe even spur some disloyalty, to ensure that their offerings stand out from everything else.”