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HubEntertainment Privacy Concerns Voice Control Feb2020With Smart Speaker sales in the US expected to reach 39 million units this year, and the majority of Smart Speaker users searching for media content on their devices, content discoverability has become more important. However, one thing standing in the way of consumers using their Smart Speakers for content discovery is privacy, per a new report [download page] from Hub Entertainment Research.

Three-quarters (75%) of the Smart Speaker device owners from the more than 2,500 respondents surveyed say they use their device to search for media content. Another two-thirds (66%) say they use their Smart Speaker to either control media playback on that device or on another connected device.

That said, users still have concerns about their privacy when using voice commands. Some 59% of respondents who use voice commands say they believe their privacy concerns regarding voice control are important. That’s compared to the 29% who feel that privacy concerns are a consideration but not that important, and the 7% who say such concerns are not important.

A large majority of respondents who are concerned about privacy say they are apprehensive about unwanted listening by Smart Speakers (91%). Global data from Selligent Marketing Cloud also found that younger adults were more likely to be concerned about unauthorized listening by a voice assistant than older adults. Practices such as brands targeting consumes with ads based on what they have recently asked their voice assistant are thought to be “creepy” by a majority of device owners.

Separate data from last year indicates that 46% of US adults never use voice assistants of any sort. And, while this earlier research does not specify why respondents did not use voice assistants, it’s also worth noting that among respondents from Hub Entertainment Research’s survey who don’t own a Smart Speaker and have no intention of owning one in the future, 66% cite privacy concerns as a reason for not buying.

About the Data: The findings are based on a survey of 2,512 US consumers fielded in December 2019.

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