Can Amazon create the Prime Video of audio services?
Amazon is investing in the development of a new service that will let customers experience live concerts and other audio events through its popular voice-activated devices.
While no timeline has been announced, the e-tail giant is working on an offering adjacent to its music streaming platform, Amazon Music, which would bring live concerts, radio programs and podcasts to Alexa users, according to a report by Axios.
The move looks like an attempt to keep up with services like the newer audio app, Clubhouse, and other tech and social media giants, like Spotify, Twitter and Facebook, which have been making their own entries into facilitating live and interactive audio. Amazon has already made a move into localized podcast content, such as news and sports, with the $300 million purchase of a startup called Wondery in 2020.
Media and entertainment companies appear to be developing an interest in leveraging voice-based technology for marketing and content delivery. However, getting customers to move beyond searching, listening or otherwise consuming content is proving to have its own set of issues.
A recent survey from Vixen Labs found that, once again, the top use for voice assistants was to ask a question, with 37 percent doing so regularly, followed by checking the weather (35 percent) and asking the device to play music (33 percent).
Other ways adults are using voice assistants regularly include searching for info on products and services (22 percent), making calls (22 percent), sending messages or emails (18 percent), automating tasks in order to save time (16 percent), controlling integrated household tech (16 percent) and checking personal calendars (15 percent).
Only 11 percent used their smart assistant to make purchases. Last year, eMarketer downgraded its forecast for voice-based shopping, despite the uptick in adoption of voice assistants by consumers.
Other studies indicate, however, that this may be changing. Research by Juniper anticipates that purchases made via voice assistant will reach $19.4 billion by 2023, up from $4.6 billion this year. The researchers expect an increase in shopping as the technology continues to improve and manufacturers add screens to voice-based offerings like smart speakers.
- Scoop: Amazon quietly building live audio business – Axios
- Will voice shopping ever take off without screens? – RetailWire
- Voice Technology Is the Next Big Thing in Media and Entertainment – Variety
- U.S. Smart Speaker Growth Flat Lined in 2020 – Voicebot
- There’s still lackluster enthusiasm for shopping and buying via voice – eMarketer
- Juniper projects voice assistants will play a bigger role in shopping – Venture Beat
- Juniper Research: Voice Assistant Transaction Values to Grow by Over 320% by 2023, but Content Libraries Must Expand – Juniper
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see a live concert/live audio service increasing Amazon’s voice-assistant adoption? Could such a service be the “Prime Video” of voice control, bringing customers into the ecosystem and then getting them comfortable with shopping, transacting, etc. via voice?