According to the latest consumer survey from IHS Markit, more of us are using voice commands than ever before with the numbers expected to keep on rising.

The survey looked at internet users across 4 markets.  The UK, US, Australia and India.  It found that 22%, over a fifth, use available voice command features to operate TV and other video devices.  Another 30% are planning to do more in the future.

The survey also found that those using voice commands are more likely to own or have access to connected devices. Devices that allow access to (OTT) over-the-top video services.  Devices such as smart TVs, media and streaming sticks and games consoles.

Whilst all age groups are key targets for voice-enabled features, there is more usage between the 25 to 34 year age group.  The older age group of 18-64 tend to use the more traditional way to discover their content.  Many do not engage with all the content and features available to them.

Content discovery and navigation are vital for video services as one out of five video cancellations were caused by a perceived lack of available content.

The most cited reason for cancellation was the service was “too expensive,” followed by “no longer used the service” and “a lack of content available.”

Associate director, television media, at  IHS Markit, Fateha Begum, gives a more detailed look at the driving forces behind voice command adoption.

“The use of voice commands has become increasingly important in the device and entertainment ecosystem, particularly around the home. The use of digital assistants is growing, in terms of reach and usage, as more devices offer a higher degree of interactivity between devices and services. In addition to device manufacturers recognizing the importance of voice-command features in building a smart home ecosystem, content providers recognize the importance of voice in the customer experience and in the content discovery process.”

“Content catalogs are a key reason consumers subscribe and engage with video services, so ensuring the right content makes it to consumer TV screens is increasingly important. Consumers now face a wider choice of content across a variety of devices, including the TV set, thanks to a mix of linear channels, pay TV video-on-demand (VoD) and OTT apps. Easing navigation and improving personalization are critical ways to increase value to video consumers, so large content catalogs don’t become burdensome to the user experience.”

“The vast amount of content available across each device puts the user experience at the forefront of device and platform strategies, including discovery, recommendations and navigation. Voice command functionality will be an increasingly important element in content discovery, as it allows users to not only search for content but also control the video interface in some instances. Consumers already using voice commands on video are more likely to own connected living room devices, which indicates they may already have access to large content libraries across various services and devices.”

“For device manufacturers voice functionality is a key element in building an ecosystem, particularly within the home. The ability for devices to communicate and control other devices has become evident, as brands are increasingly launching proprietary digital assistants.”

“For TV providers, innovating in the areas of content discovery and recommendations is a means to ensure their content is easy to find, driving greater value and ultimately reducing customer churn. Pay TV operators have an advantage over most OTT streaming services because they can manage the user experience on the set-top box and can ensure their own content is prioritized on the platform.”

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