The human voice will fundamentally change the way consumers engage with brands, as almost seven in ten people now use their voice to interact with assistants and smart speakers, the largest study into how Australians are using voice-assisted technology has revealed.
The use of assistants and smart speakers is booming with 11.3 million people, or 69 per cent, of Australians having used their voice to interact with one or more devices, according to the ‘The Voice of Us’ research.
Smartphones are the most popular device to use assistants, with 61 per cent of respondents making voice-related interactions, followed by tablets (17 per cent), laptops (14 per cent) and smart speakers (12 per cent).
‘The Voice of Us’ is the latest study in the Datafication series which examines how Australians are adopting and using new social technologies.
It was commissioned by creative agency The Works, part of RXP Group, in conjunction with Dr. Suresh Sood from the University of Technology Sydney.
Online responses from a representative sample of more than 2,000 people aged 15+ were analysed and overlaid with census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to gauge how Australians are using voice technology and what it means for marketers and brands.
Almost three million Australians (2.9 million) now have a smart speaker in their home or office, making us one of the fastest adopters of the technology on a per capita basis.
More than half of respondents (56 per cent) own a Google device such as Google Home.
Amazon’s range of smart speakers are the next most popular at 13 per cent, with Apple’s HomePod coming in third at 8 per cent.
The Works creative partner and leader of the Datafication project Douglas Nicol said: “The way we interact with technology has moved from clicking, to swiping and now we’re increasingly using our voices to make requests using assistants and smart speakers.
“This has major implications for business and advertisers, as it’s fundamentally changing the rules for how brands are discovered by consumers in the digital world – and many marketers are not ready for this evolution.”
When asked what industries they would consider using human voice interfaces to interact with, almost six in ten (58 per cent) said to get the latest news, followed by entertainment inquiries (53 per cent); events (40 per cent); transport information (37 per cent); restaurants (34 per cent); health (31 per cent); travel (30 per cent) and retail (29 per cent).
However, while voice-enabled technology has been embraced by Australians, more than nine in ten (91 per cent) have concerns with using it.
Being hacked was the major issue for 32 per cent of respondents closely followed by 31 per cent who had worries their conversations were being recorded or saved.
While marketers have invested heavily in search engine optimisation to ensure they rank at the top of text-based searches, the growth in the use of assistants and smart speakers poses significant new challenges.
“Human voice interfaces are here to stay and this will inevitably force changes in the search, content and loyalty strategies of advertisers,” said Nicol.
“With voice, users are only typically getting just one answer to their query, which means having a coherent and robust voice search optimisation (VSO) strategy will become more important than ever.
“Appearing in Google’s position zero, also called the featured snippet, which shows web pages above the first search results is vital as it’s what Google uses to respond to voice searches. While some larger organisations are now actively building capabilities in this area, the majority are not and this has the potential to impact on future revenue growth.”
Freeman tops celebrity voices
‘The Voice of Us’ also asked respondents which celebrity they would prefer to be the voice of their assistants.
The soothing southern drawl of actor Morgan Freeman topped the list for both men and women, with Ocean’s Eleven star George Clooney coming in second and the Scottish brogue of former James Bond actor Sean Connery third.
Nicole Kidman – the only woman to make the top ten – ranked as the fourth most popular voice, with the dulcet tones of global treasure and environmentalist David Attenborough at five and Samuel L. Jackson at six.
While he may attract considerable controversy amongst some, the voice of US President Donald Trump was rated as the seventh most popular with Aussie heartthrob Chris Hemsworth coming in at eight.
John Cleese and The King, Elvis Presley, rounded out the list at ninth and tenth respectively.
The voice of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, is a turn off when it comes to which celebrities Aussies would choose as their voice assistant.
Former PM Malcom Turnbull was the second least favoured, Kardashian star Kylie Jenner (3rd), convicted sex offender Bill Cosby (4th) and British footballer turned model David Beckham (5th).
If you’ve been watching the Olympics these past few days, chances are you’ve probably come across the talent that is US gymnast Simone Biles. Biles has encapsulated viewers with her athletic jumps, flips and all-around gymnastic genius. As a result, Biles has also dominated social media feeds, with fans pouring out their admiration for the […]
A study conducted by the University of Queensland has claimed that the social media app TikTok needs to create regulations around vaping. Researchers at the University of Queensland analysed and evaluated the content of over 800, of TikToks most viewed vaping videos. Collectively the TikToks amassed over one billion views. The study found that 63 […]
ESPN and the National Basketball League have extended their broadcast partnership for a further three seasons as part of an expanded television rights package. ESPN and the National Basketball League announce a new expanded agreement that will run for three seasons, until the end of the 2023/24 NBL season. The landmark broadcast deal comes with […]
Sydney-based co-working startup, Workit Spaces, announced today the launch of ‘Beyond The Store’, a six-part web series to uncover the smarts and passion behind successful Australian eCommerce businesses. Workit Spaces has gone where no other coworking hub has gone before, by investing over $100,000 to tell the stories of six Australian eCommerce businesses and how […]
In light of the prolonged lockdown occurring throughout New South Wales, Semi Permanent Sydney has announced new dates for this year’s festival. It will now take place between 17-19 November 2021 at Carriageworks. “Our mission, always, is to craft the best and most valuable experience for both our speakers and audience, and to ensure the […]
Acast, the independent power source of podcasting has teamed up with Comscore to provide brand suitability controls for brands advertising through the Acast Marketplace. This new innovation is part of a global partnership with Comscore, and will be available to all advertisers working with Acast Australia and New Zealand. The brand suitability solutions offered by […]
Social media management solutions company Hootsuite, has announced that Maggie Lower has joined the company as chief marketing officer. Lower will own the brand’s overall global strategy, demand generation, communications, and events. Prior to joining Hootsuite, Lower was the global chief marketing officer at Cision, the first chief marketing officer at TrueBlue, and has held […]