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Smart Speakers Are Helping Grow Next Generation Of Audio Consumers, Survey Says.

Millennials may have been the first digital-native generation, and now their children have become the first voice native generation. What are known as Gen Alpha – or those born between 2010 and 2025 – are also showing a new kind of connection with audio. A new survey from Audacy finds that nine in ten parents say their Gen Alpha kids are “very attentive” when they listen to content on smart speakers.

“There might be worries about decreased attention span among Gen Alpha due to their habituation with screens, the one thing that holds their attention is audio,” says Audacy in a report on its findings.

The survey also points to how Millennial moms and dads are themselves embracing smart speakers. More than a third (35%) say they rely on smart speakers daily for parenting. And a near-identical number (34%) use their smart speaker together with their kids.

Even so, eight in ten Millennial parents think their kids are more comfortable using smart speaker technology to give voice commands than they themselves would ever be. And that is opening new e-commerce opportunities.

The survey finds Millennial parents are 19% more likely than any typical parent to “think that it is good for parents to provide children with more things than they ever had.” To that end, four in ten parents surveyed said they find it hard to resist their kid’s requests for non-essential purchases. And they are 32% more likely to agree that their children have a significant impact on the brand they choose.

The relationship between Gen Alpha and their parents has Audacy labeling the kids “decision makers in training” as the survey finds requests from Gen Alpha kids is the top influencing factor for 58% of parents when creating holiday shopping lists. That is especially for moms, where more than two-thirds (68%) say their kids are swaying their purchasing decisions. But Gen Alpha is already beginning to cut out the middle man – the survey finds one in five is already shopping on their own using smart speakers.

“The key takeaway for brands and marketers here is to know that audio is an important pathway to parents and family time. Parents are highly engaged with audio when they’re doing joint activities with their kids, such as when they’re on their way to school or activities, or when they’re at home doing homework or relaxing, while listening to the smart speaker together,” the Audacy report says. “Audio enables authentic connections between brands and families with Gen Alpha kids, giving brands access to the key moments when families are discovering new information, having joint experiences, and when kids are gently influencing -- or outright begging -- for products that influence their purchase decisions.”

The Audacy Gen Alpha Survey was conducted Nov. 11-13, 2022 among 818 parents of kids aged 12 and under.

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