Research firm Edison Research has published its latest investigation into the habits of smart-speaker owners – which now include 7% of Americans according to its surveys.

“70% of smart speaker owners say they are listening to more audio at home since acquiring their device,” claimed Edison, while noting that the family-friendly nature of devices like Amazon’s Echo may have been underestimated.

“Eight in ten parents say these devices have made it easier to entertain their children, and nearly 90% say their children enjoy smart speakers,” claimed the company. “In fact, 57% of owners with children at home say that entertaining children was a reason for wanting the speaker.”

VP of strategy Tom Webster had more details on the listening habits though. “Although smart speakers have not been around for very long, nearly one in five owners say that these devices are the way that they most often listen to audio,” he said.

In separate smart-speaker debate, Dot Blockchain founder Benji Rogers has been blogging about how what his new company is doing ties in to voice-controlled smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo. It boils down to the idea of songs as ‘skills’ for these devices, rather than just content delivered through a streaming service.

“A smart, or to use Amazon’s term “skilled,” song can talk directly to a machine, like an Alexa device, and can inform Alexa that yes it does indeed have the right to play the song (the permission), and that if it does so then there is a fee or a data exchange (obligation) due to all of those who are a party to the song in question,” wrote Rogers.

“It’s my belief that the smart assets themselves are going to be what these modern devices and networks will require to live up to their full potential, and this means that the majority of revenues can be paid directly to those whose rights are enshrined within the songs themselves…”

“I can see a future in which the devices in our homes will offer us the option of receiving the music directly from the artist or via a service with the knowledge that if they choose a more direct-to-the-artist route that these artists will receive more of the money due to them.”

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