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The Future of Voice and the Implications for News

The Future of Voice and the Implications for News

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SUMMARY

This report finds news publishers and broadcasters struggling to produce content for digital voice platforms without disrupting user experiences.

The research points to a conflicting landscape in current usage and future potential. Many consumers felt the current news updates were too long and wanted a minute or less, while publishers desired longer content.

Nevertheless, current users are satisfied with their digital voice platform. Nearly two-thirds (69%) of UK respondents would replace or upgrade their smart speaker. Overall, existing users found that voice technology made life easier, enabled helpful behaviors, and reduced clutter. As for non-users, privacy, embarrassment speaking with computers, and poor voice recognition were key concerns.

In the UK, the ability to play music is most used (84%) and most valued (61%). News is used almost half (46%) as often as music, and only 1% of respondents claimed it was the most significant feature. Basic information-based tasks, including asking general questions (64%), checking the weather (58%), and setting alarms (56%), are more used than news updates.

What are publishers’ concerns? According to publishers, there are four barriers stopping publishers from investing more in voice: i) lack of resources, ii) lack of clear monetization paths, iii) issues with discovery and awareness, and iv) a lack of usage data to support development.

As voice assistants develop, the opportunities for interoperability, monetization, and innovation will increase. Voice assisted technology affords users new and often more convenient ways of signaling intent. It is up to publishers and platforms to collaborate to support the development of digital voice assistants.  Data, attribution, monetization, and fairness are core issues in media that are now emerging in the digital voice assistants industry. Yet voice technology adoption is poised to increase. As evidenced by early adopters, simplicity, control, and convenience could persuade users, although there are concerns.

OUTLINE

About the Author 

Acknowledgements 

Executive Summary

Methodology and Approach

What is Voice?

Voice Assistant Usage

Publisher Strategies and Monetisation

Future Developments and Conclusions

References

Appendix

DETAILS

Overview

Researchfinder Rating
5 out of 5 stars
Title
The Future of Voice and the Implications for News
Region
Global
Published
Nov. 15, 2018
Publisher
Reuters Institute
Author(s)
Nic Newman
Price
FREE
Language
ENGLISH

Content

Number of Pages
48
Number of Tables
7
Number of Exhibits
20
Topics
iot
Tags
amazon, apple, consumer survey, digital voice assistant, google, iot, Microsoft, reuters institute, smart home, smart speaker, voicebot, voice commerce, voice control
Companies mentioned
Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, BMW, Bose, Facebook, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN, NPR, The Economist, the Guardian, Sky News, BBC, Telegraph Media Group, T-Online, ABC News
Author(s)
Nic Newman
Methodology
This report by Reuters combines in-home research, focus groups, surveys and interviews to present current news usage on voice platforms in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany. Reuters also interviewed more than 20 publishers and experts.
EVALUATION

This is a thorough study that depicts global consumer and producer perceptions of digital voice platforms.

While news publishers and broadcaster are the primary audiences, various media companies will benefit from the report’s insights. Data samples that span various regions and focus groups support industry insights. Moreover, the document is designed for easy accessibility and readability. Overall, the observations and findings will inspire further innovation and investment in digital voice assistants.

Positives

  • Broad consumer usage study
  • Wide data sample from various regions
  • Specific user and business case studies

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