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Voice video services on slow track to adoption

Attitude and access to voice search

Voice video services are only being adopted by consumers very slowly, and voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo are not setting the world on fire either. Maybe what’s needed is some consumer education on the technology.

Video voice services make incremental progress

The number of people with access to video voice search services increased from 18.9% in Q3 2016 to 20.4% in Q3 2017. This modest annual gain shows the growth in reach of the services is slowing. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of people with access doubled, from 9.6% to 18.9%.

The good news is that more of the people with access are using the services. In Q3 2016, 52% of people with access said they used it. That number has grown to 54% in Q3 2017. However, those without access to voice search remain skeptical of the benefits of the functionality. 41.3% without access said they did not want it, and only 21.1% said they wanted it.

This data shows that consumers continue to be wary of voice search and its benefits.

Video voice search usage jumps

daily users of voice search Q3 2017Though the number of video voice search users only crept up, those using the functionality are using it a lot more. Of those people that say they use video voice search, nearly one third do so daily. One year ago, 21.6% said the same thing.

According to TiVo, must consumers using voice video search do so through their pay-TV operator’s set-top box. 47% of those using the services say they use their operator’s STB remote. The second most popular device is Amazon Fire TV (29%), followed by Apple TV (20%), and a game console (17%.)

Voice assistants not a major factor in video search

The market for voice assistants seems to have cooled considerably in the last quarter. TiVo reports that the number of people using the devices remained flat from the previous quarter at 14.6%. Amazon voice assistants are more popular than Google Home, with 9.4% saying they own an Amazon Dot or Echo and 7.5% saying they have Google Home.

Ownership of home digital assistants Q3 2017The number of people owning one of the devices could jump during the holiday season. Amazon has ignited a price war with Google over the devices. Amazon lowered the price of the Dot from $50 to $30 and lowered the original Echo to $100 in time for the holiday shopping season. Google responded by dropping the price of Google Home to $79 and the Home mini to $29.

Price-cutting maybe just what the industry needs to jump-start sales this holiday season. The CTA says that digital voice assistants did not crack the top ten most desirable electronic devices for the holidays. The company says 15% of consumers plan to buy one this holiday season, up from 6% last year.

TiVo survey data shows that a third of voice assistant owners use their device to help with viewing video content. Other tasks are far more popular. 71% play music, 46% are looking for answers to general knowledge questions, and 39% set timers.

Consumers may need a push

TiVo reports that a pay-TV operator launched an advertising campaign to subscribers promoting the voice search capabilities of its set-top box and remote. The campaign focused on general searches such as “Show me Matt Damon movies.” The ads also showed a user refining a search with a follow-up question like “Only the action movies.” After the campaign ran, voice video search adoption increased 25%, and more complex searches increased by one third.

Why it matters

Anything that helps consumers find something to watch faster should be good for everyone involved in the delivery and consumption of video.

Voice services should be a great candidate for accelerating content access.

So far, consumers have been reluctant to adopt the technology.

There is evidence advertising could help consumers get more comfortable with talking to their TV.

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