As the smart home and smart car markets continue to evolve, there are opportunities across the music industry ecosystem to capitalise on the new features and emerging technologies. Alexandre Jornod, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting, recently shared some of the latest developments across the product, service and technology ecosystems, highlighting the key players and consumer trends across this exciting space.
Watch the full session here.
According to the latest market tracker reports from Futuresource Consulting, the European leader in the adoption of smart technologies is the UK, with 44 million smart audio devices, like smart speakers, smart soundbars, smart displays and Smart TVs, in use at the end of 2020. Looking ahead, this is expected to rise to 62.3 million in 2024. The reason for such a high number is that many consumers own multiple devices to create their smart home ecosystems.
Smart Home Expanding Music Listening Opportunities
The growing adoption of smart audio devices has really helped to expand music consumption opportunities in the home and has eased the way to streaming adoption. The pandemic has only accelerated this phenomenon.
The affordability of smart speakers has prompted people to buy multiple devices for different rooms in the house, enabling a seamless multiroom, music streaming experience. Connectivity between these products also enables uninterrupted listening between devices, notably with smartphones, tablets and speakers, making the experience more convenient. Moreover, tech is enabling the development of more automated actions. For example, when someone arrives home, the smart home system is notified which in turn triggers a set of actions, such as switching the lights on or playing a favourite playlist or radio station.
The Power of Personalisation
Personalisation in the smart home is now upon us, complemented further by the fact that voice assistants can recognise individual voices, assign content preferences to individuals, and deliver tailored content. Furthermore, smart speaker technology is on the brink of evolution, going from a one-way command and control, to voice interaction becoming smarter and more conversational. This will drive more music engagement, complemented further via discovery on screens, ultimately providing that extra level of choice and engagement that voice technology alone cannot provide.
An emerging trend that we are already seeing with smart displays is how TVs could also become interfaces that complement voice, enabling extra features, providing more information, or multimedia experiences. Longer term, it is expected that all of these different devices will blend together, where for example the speakers of the TV will play in conjunction with other speakers in the room, to create a more immersive experience. Even smart lighting will be able to create moods for when listening to a specific playlist or album.
The Age of AI Based Processing
As edge-based AI processing continues to advance, personalization will step up to another level, monitoring and understanding personality, moods and tone of voice. Major players like Amazon, Apple and Google have already started building their eco systems and moving into this space. Furthermore, we can expect that music will play a key role in offering distinctive features to attract more people into these ecosystems, which extends through to automotive.
Smart Tech Overtaking The Dashboard
Tech companies are progressively taking over the car dashboard, essentially becoming an extension to the smart home. Over the past few years, there has been a growth of smartphones mirroring apps, like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, all creating the seamless experience between the car and the home, enabling you to bring your music and favourite voice assistant into the car. Conversely, whilst we are seeing all of this tech developing, according to the Futuresource Consumer Audio Tech Lifestyles Report, over 50% of consumers in the UK, are still using the built-in radio as their main way of listening to music in their cars. And for those who don’t have Android Auto, or Apple CarPlay to listen to streaming services, it is possible to use an aux cable or Bluetooth. Spotify is already capitalising on this trend, launching hardware in the US to truly bring Spotify into the car.
One of the most disruptive trends in the automotive space will be autonomous vehicles development, which together with electric cars and the development of 5G connectivity is set to transform the way consumers engage with audio content in their cars. This will bring additional opportunities to create multi-sensorial experiences, capitalising on all the built-in tech of the future smart cars, such as immersive audio technologies, ambient lighting, video and even seat vibrations that could work together to create new ways to experience music.
For more insights into the Smart Home and Automotive industry, view our range of reports available covering the Smart Home and Automotive Sector, or watch Alexandre Jornod’s data-led presentation delivered at the recent BPI Insights event here.
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