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Smart Speakers Starting to Replace Devices With Screens

The Why Axis Smart Speaker Vs Devices

We’ve used the past few editions of The Why Axis to break down a ton of smart speaker ownership and usage data from NPR and Edison Research’s “Smart Audio Report.” We’ve looked at who’s buying them, how owners are using smart speakers, and the way children use the technology.

The Why Axis BugThe final chart we’re analyzing from the report looks at how the uptick in smart-speaker use is affecting time spent with other devices and technology.

NPR’s survey of over 900 smart speaker owners is broken down into two primary groups: first adopters (who’ve owned a smart speaker for a year or more) and early mainstream users (who’ve bought a smart speaker in the past year). The report found that 22 percent of first adopters and 38 percent of early mainstream users bought a smart speaker in order to reduce their screen time spent on other devices.

The Best Smart Speakers

It’s working: 23 percent of first adopters and 33 percent of early mainstream users said they’re spending less time with other technology since getting a smart speaker. Unsurprisingly, the biggest casualties are traditional AM/FM radios. More interesting is that 24 to 26 percent of first adopters and 30 to 38 percent of early mainstream users said they’re spending less time looking at desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets, as more tech users try to wean themselves off screens.

The report also identifies users who are spending less time watching TV or reading print media because they’re getting their news and entertainment from smart speakers. For more on breaking the cycle of tech addiction, check out our recent deep-dive feature story, “The Endless Scroll: How to Tell if You’re a Tech Addict.”

We couldn’t feature every single chart and stat from the Smart Audio Report, so for even more information, you can download NPR and Edison Research’s full report.

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