One in Five Consumers Uses Voice to Interact With Their TVs

April 2, 2019 9:59AM PT

More than 20% of all consumers interact with their TVs or streaming devices via voice commands, according to a new survey from IHS Markit. An additional 30% aren’t currently using voice for TV viewing, but are interested in the technology.

Unsurprisingly, voice is more popular with younger consumers, with 33% of 25- to 34-year-olds making use of voice assistants for their TV viewing. Consumers who are 55 years or older on the other hand rarely make use of the technology, with only 4% of this group saying that they use voice to control their TVs, or find content to watch.

CREDIT: Courtesy of IHS Markit

TV manufacturers and pay TV service operator alike have increasingly been embracing voice control, adding not only voice remotes but also support for third-party speakers to their devices. More recently, consumer electronics manufacturers have begun to add far-field microphones directly to their TV sets, effectively turning them into smart speakers with giant displays.

The growing popularity of voice in the living room has also been evident in other data. Comcast reported a year ago that it had seen voice usage for the 2018 Winter Olympics double when compared to the 2016 Summer Olympics. And Adobe Analytics revealed late last year that most smart speakers are placed in living rooms, suggesting that the devices may be used to also interact with compatible TVs and streaming devices.

IHS Markit’s voice data comes from a new report titled “Voice Commands on Devices: Content Discovery and Navigation” that is based on a recent survey of 9,636 internet users in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and India.