Alexa use sees an increase during the pandemic

Now more than ever, people are practicing social distancing and numerous measures to “slow the spread and save lives.” Because of this, Amazon has said they have seen a huge increase in the use of voice control in the home. A recent study done by Geekwire found that Alexa use has increased significantly between late 2019 and the spring of 2020, when much of the world had entered into lockdown. 

According to a study released by Edison Research, there are more than 157 million smart speakers in U.S. households and 95% of them use their smart speaker to listen to music. In a little over three years, Amazon’s Alexa has gone from having 130 skills to over 100,000 skills as of September 2020. Skills usage has increased by an whopping 65% worldwide just over the past few months. For example, people have asked more cooking related questions during one week in April, than during Thanksgiving of last year.  

Additionally, Alexa is now expanding it’s skills and is able to answer coronavirus-related questions. Not only did Amazon fill the Alexa database with information from the CDC, but other app developers have also built their own related services and skills. The Mayo Clinic introduced a skill that provides information about COVID-19 and can determine whether you need a COVID-19 test by taking people through a set of yes or no questions. And due to the hands-free feature of the Alexa, hospitals are using them to communicate with patients who might be in isolation. Some healthcare professionals praise the hands-free voice activation because they believe it’s safer than touching a screen or keyboard, when right now cleanliness is a matter of life and death. 

Hurley’s Media has also seen a boom in Alexa use across all stations, the number of users that have been tuning in has increased immensely. For example, in April of 2020 the number of listeners on Alexa for Z99 was 590, as of August 2020, it saw an increase of 3,200 listeners, a 400% increase. During the same time period IRIE saw a 166% increase, Bob a 179% increase and Rooster a 116% increase in Alexa listeners. 

According to a survey done by Edison Research, listening to a radio station is one of the top 10 weekly smart speaker requests and the number keeps rising.

With Amazon’s Alexa being the number one smart speaker brand, it’s built a massive lead in the industry and consumers are unlikely to switch to another home speaker. In the next year the industry is set to see another boom as we move into an uncertain future for travel and business. For the foreseeable future customers and clients want convenience in every aspect of their life and the less contact, the better. 

With the growth of Alexa and noticeable increase in radio listeners via Alexa, now is the time to consider advertising with one of our four radio stations. Radio remains one of the most cost effective, accessible and measurable advertising platforms today. Talk to your Hurley’s Media Sales Representative today about how you can incorporate radio advertising into your marketing plans. Email [email protected]