The 2021 Voice Report

2020 may well be viewed as the turning point where voice started achieving its potential. The arrival of COVID brought newfound importance to touchless interactions and confined us to our homes, both boons to voice tech adoption in different ways, as we search for tools and technologies that allow us to more easily navigate new behavioral dynamics. Throughout the year, we’ve closely tracked and analyzed the latest developments to voice. From our learnings, we’re bringing you the nine growth areas to watch in 2021 along with our predictions for these trends.
See How Voice is Changing the Way We Live And Work

9 Voice Trends
to Watch in 2021

Which trend(s) will be most impactful? Make your voice heard and
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182

Advertising Primed for Growth

While interactive audio ads have been emerging for a few years, we are seeing new offerings from major players including Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, and NBCUniversal. Use cases including product sampling and product discounts are growing as brands explore how to integrate these ads into their paid media mix.

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52

Mobile Meets Voice

One of the first voice assistants was born on our phones, helping us easily find information. As assistants evolve to perform tasks for us, they will soon be integrated into more mobile apps and even tech like V/R, broadening opportunities in social and e-commerce.

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50

Owned Assistants

Mainstream wake words “Hey Google” and “Alexa” have become ingrained in our vernacular as voice has become synonymous with big tech. But there’s a swelling interest in brands forgoing big tech and building custom, “brand-owned” voice assistants over which they have greater control than as third parties on a major platform.

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30

Brands Presences Level Up

Buick, Lucky Charms, Oral-B, and MoonPie—these brands have all developed brand activations in voice in 2020. This year has seen a maturation of brand presence on scaled platforms, as well as a diversification of the places that voice has turned up within brand ecosystems.

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27

Retail Innovation

As many customers try to avoid direct interactions during their grocery trips, they’re opting for frictionless shopping alternatives. Whether it’s at-home shopping, on-the-go assistance, or point-of-sale activations, voice is becoming a mainstay in the retail space.

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26

Peripherals Come Into View

Initially anchored to our homes and cars, voice assistance has evolved to become a true on-the-go reality. With advanced wearables, voice experiences will become more personalized and new standards will emerge as data is shared and collected.

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26

The New Way of Working

With the inability to meet or work with our colleagues in person, voice assistance and audio tech are improving communication and productivity for the homebound workforce. Assistants are also being leveraged in custom enterprise solutions by major companies and soon, physical offices.

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24

Beyond the Home

The smart home no longer consists of smart speakers—it’s a smart environment with smart security, alarms, HVAC controls, and more. Voice is not only materializing in different smart devices, but it’s being scaled into apartments, dorms, and hotels for a smart experience anywhere.

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19

Gaming Gears Up

Teeming with developments across A/R, V/R, and now voice, gaming’s threshold for innovation is endless. Not only are voice-led games growing, but assistants improving gameplay or integrated into hardware are revamping the gaming experience.

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2021 Is Primed to Be a Major Year for Voice’s Growth
Companies that may be waiting to trial the technology or only exploring it at a pilot level will realize they need to develop a comprehensive voice strategy. From brand identity and marketing to products, services, and operations, voice will play an important role as part of any company’s technological ecosystem.

If you’re interested in developing a voice strategy or discussing one of the trends above, contact us at hello@rain.agency
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