Audio: Prospering in the ever-present medium

This article is part of a series of articles on audio – prospering in the ever-present medium.Read more.

Need to know

  • Voice presents both a new way for consumers to speak to brands and for brands to speak back, posing multiple opportunities and risks
  • People will not say things as they would type them, and this conversational style of questioning will change the emphasis on keywords and radically impact SEO strategies
  • IAB UK and Ipsos MORI research, called ‘Find Your Voice’, explored how consumers are engaging with voice technology, and what it means for brands and agencies
  • Brands should think of voice innovation as a coming together of natural language processing and AI technology
  • Consumer expectations of voice have been driven by Hollywood and science fiction, so the reality (and limitations) of today’s technology can often disappoint
  • Trust in smart speakers in particular has been damaged by recent data privacy scandals, meaning consumers are worried about when devices are listening to them, and what they are doing with that data
  • In an ideal world, consumers want voice assistants to improve their health and safety; give them increased control over the Internet of Things; enhance their intimate knowledge; and simplify social bonding
  • Conversely, users fear being spied on, and are concerned that voice will only add ‘noise’ to their already busy and media-rich lives
  • The ideal relationship between user and voice assistant closely resembles that of ‘virtual butler’, who fulfils a number of roles, including family doctor, parent, partner and PA