Staff Reporters
Sep 19, 2019

Smart speakers: A viable advertising medium in China

TOP OF THE CHARTS: About 76% of consumers don’t mind advertising on smart speakers if the ad matches the content, according to a repot from OMD.

Smart speaker Source: shutterstock
Smart speaker Source: shutterstock

Smart speakers are seeing exponential sales growth in China. While advertising on the medium is still new and limited, users are open to advertising as long as it's relevant and helpful to them, according to a report from OMD China

The study shed light on the purchase motivators, consumer demographics, functionality and emerging consumer behaviours behind the rise of smart speakers in Chinese consumers’ homes, while exploring what’s next for the medium.

Facts and findings:

  • In the first quarter of 2019, smart speaker sales in China surged by 500% year-on-year, making China the world leader in smart speaker sales;
  • 33% of Chinese consumers own more than one device, with the most popular places for their usage being in the living room (69%) and the bedroom (57%)
  • The most-used functions are listening to music (72%), serving as an alarm clock (58%), general information requests, such as weather and traffic (55%) and smart home appliance control (41%)
  • 76% of consumers don’t mind advertising on smart speakers if the ad matches the content; 73% state if the ad matches their interests, and 58% if the ad is helpful in their shopping decision-making
Global market share
User persona

Samantha Jahnke, OMD China’s Head of Digital:

It is important for marketers to understand how and why consumers are using smart speakers.The more we can understand, the better we can design advertising experiences that complement their experience versus disrupt it. Our research has proved that users are open to relevant advertising; we found that 76% of users did not mind and may pay attention to advertising that matched the content they were listening to, and 73% if it matched their interests. Brands should not rush out to aimlessly place ads on this new channel, focusing on the experience they will deliver and how it will be relevant to the listener instead.

Sadhan Mishra, Managing Director of OMD Shanghai:

Smart speakers allow advertisers to deliver engaging, contextually relevant voice messages, tailored to the individual. This growing space presents the opportunity to be positively disruptive, provided we respect privacy and truly empathise with consumers.

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