More people are placing smart speakers in their homes, but they aren’t exactly being creative about how they use them.
Consumers have been slow to adopt more involved tasks like placing food orders, researching flights, or even sending messages, according to a new survey by Adobe, which looked at how people engage with voice-enabled smart devices in their homes. The portion of people using speakers for all three of these activities fell in the company’s latest survey, relative to when the questions were asked last summer.
Just 5% of smart-speaker users spent time managing their finances via voice, down from 13% in the summer survey. Adobe found that 23% of people sent or received messages via these devices, 19% of people used speakers to play games, 14% of people used them to order takeout, and 11% conducted hotel or flight research.
At the same time, people are increasingly turning to speakers for the basic functions they’ve become known for. Nearly three-quarters of respondents to Adobe’s survey used the speakers for listening to music, 66% used them to check the weather, 58% asked their speakers “fun questions” and 49% instructed their speakers to set alarms. The portion of people engaging in these activities climbed relative to when the survey was conducted last August.
and Alphabet Inc.’s
Google have been selling inexpensive smart speakers as they try to build ecosystems around voice, with the idea being that they can get away with discounting the devices to gain a foothold in the home and eventually get users to shop through their on-device platforms. But the slow uptake of more commercial functions on smart speakers may mean that the companies will have a harder time monetizing the devices beyond the initial sale: Amazon makes money when you use your speaker to order batteries, but not when you have Alexa tell you a joke.thikn i
Just 26% of users opted to shop with their speakers in the latest Adobe survey, down from 30% in August.
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There’s perhaps hope in advertising as a revenue source, however, as 38% of respondents told Adobe that they found voice ads less “intrusive” than TV, print, online, and social-media spots.
In all, 36% of consumers surveyed reported that they now own a smart speaker, up from 32% in the summer, while three quarters engage with their devices daily.