Issue 183,  published October 30, 2018

This Week in Smart Speakers

  • Variety: “Almost half of all consumers will own a smart speaker after the upcoming holiday season, according to a new study by Adobe.” Note that the write-up was published in early September.
  • CNBC: “Streaming platforms are feeding the growing boom in smart speakers such as Echo, Home and HomePod, study reveals.”
  • Slate: “Streaming music is by far the most popular way we’re using smart speakers… but a new pastime is gaining popularity — talking to your assistant for fun. 68 percent of smart speaker owners admit to chatting with their Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri digital assistant just for fun, while 53 percent report a similar activity, asking their assistant ‘fun questions.’”

As a collective, these stories suggest to me that the smart speaker experience sits in a really interesting, perhaps still-undefined middle ground on the spectrum between “on-demand” and “linear/streaming,” with hard lean to the latter. I wonder how Scout.fm is doing?