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Survey: Consumers OK with smart speaker ads

Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo Plus smart speaker. Photo: Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Consumers find voice-based ads on their smart speakers to be more engaging and less intrusive than pitches in other media, according to a new survey by Adobe.

By the numbers: According to the findings, 43% of consumers found smart speaker ads to be less intrusive, compared to 26% that held the opposite view. (About 31% were neutral on the question.)

Why it matters: While smart speakers continue to proliferate, the business around voice-based advertising remains nascent.

Other findings:

  • Only 1 in 5 of those surveyed said they had shopped via their smart speaker, but willingness to do so is growing, especially for things like groceries and household items.
  • Consumers increasingly value the ability to control by voice when buying new electronics, including TVs, speakers and even cars.
  • Playing music remains the top use of smart speakers, along with getting weather or sports scores and asking all manner of questions.
  • Nearly a third of people would be keen to replace the voice of their digital assistant with a celebrity. Top choices include: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Google did briefly offer John Legend as a voice option for Assistant.)

Our thought bubble: Right now we simply don't encounter too many ads on smart speakers, so maybe that's why people don't find them intrusive? If that's the case, just give it a little time.

Go deeper: Amazon's lead in U.S. smart speaker market projected to shrink

Methodology: Adobe surveyed 1,025 adults May 15-22 about their use of voice assistants. See methodology here.