We knew from the beginning that working on National Geographic’s Bravo Tango Brain Training Google Action was going to be different. National Geographic was more focused on helping the type of military veterans portrayed in its television program The Long Road Home than promoting the show.
Amazon’s Alexa is being adopted by car makers ranging from Ford and Toyota to BMW. Ford says 20 million cars will have Alexa access in 2018 and that is a good start. Those announcements show a trend, but new testing by Amazon may accelerate Alexa availability by introducing an Echo Dot model for cars.
NPR revealed in an interview with MediaPost that its streaming listening through Amazon Alexa devices grew 242% between November and February. Alexa now accounts for 13.3% of all NPR’s live streaming, up from just 3.9% in late 2017. When listening on any device triples over a 3-4 month period, every general manager and program director is going to take note.
There is a new report by OC&C that reveals voice commerce reached nearly $2 billion in the U.S. in 2017. More surprising to some is that it is projected to reach $40 billion in the next five years. That is an 86% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). And, it's not just a U.S. phenomenon. In the U.K. voice shopping is expected to climb from just $200 million to $5 billion in that same period.
Amazon Alexa users can access the Winter Olympics content by saying, “Alexa, open Westwood One Sports.” They will then be offered the opportunity to listen live if a live broadcast is underway, hear the most recent live broadcast on demand, or listen to summary highlights from the day. Westwood One collaborated with XAPPmedia to launch the Westwood One Alexa skill in time for the Olympic Games opening ceremonies on February 9th.
Voice assistants are destined to become a big part of consumers’ lives and represent both a big opportunity and a threat for brands. Why? Purchases that occur today through physical stores, websites and apps will materially shift to voice commerce over the next three years. Brands can take advantage of these changing consumer preferences or cede a rapidly growing sales channel entirely to their competitors.
Voice is changing the way consumers interact with technology and how they search for information. Google acknowledges that over 20% of search is now by voice and comScore’s prediction that it will trend toward 50% by 2020 is looking increasingly likely. Smart speakers are accelerating this trend. Why should brands care?