Jun 17, 2019

Survey: Consumers OK with smart speaker ads

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.

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Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness in COVID-19 the treatment has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrow22 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 664,695 — Total deaths: 30,847 — Total recoveries: 140,156.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 124,464 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by late Saturday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health