Nov 18, 2018 - Technology

Report: News reports aren't translating well on smart speakers

Reproduced from a Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism report; Chart: Axios Visuals

News consumption on smart speakers isn't picking up in the U.S. even though the purchases and overall usage of smart speakers is increasing overall, according to a report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Why it matters: In a news environment that's fast and precise, news by smart speaker still has several glitches that turn users off, such as a long listening times, poor audio quality and story duplications. Smart speakers are still used more for weather reports and music.

Between the lines: News on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant blurs the lines between publishers and platforms, NiemanLab reports, as publishers caution creating and modifying content specifically for big tech companies.

By the numbers: In the U.S., 38% of smart speaker users use the device for news at least monthly and 18% at least daily.

  • In the United Kingdom, BBC has the majority of listeners on smart speakers at 64%.
  • It's not as defined in the U.S., however. CNN and NPR each have 28% of the audience, and it drops a few percentage points for each outlet from there.
  • More than 75% of smart speaker owners cited an increase in using voice-assisted technology in the past year, according to a study from Adobe Analytics.

One caveat to news consumption through smart speakers is live radio, which contains some news. 19% of NPR's live radio streams comes from smart speakers, per Recode.

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