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French agencies examine the connected speaker market

Hadopi, the France’s copyright agency, and Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA), France’s media regulator, have conducted a joint study on the connected speaker market, which is an issue for both institutions. These issues are also of interest to other regulatory authorities, including telecoms regulator, ARCEP, the competition authority, and CNIL, the data privacy agency, which contributed to the work. The study has two components: a socioeconomic analysis based on meetings with industry professionals and a comparative analysis of international markets, and a survey of uses from qualitative and quantitative standpoints. In February 2019, 1 in 10 French users used at least one connected speaker, such as Google Home, Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod. Although the uses are still relatively limited (ask the weather: 78% of users, search information on the internet: 75%), cultural practices and media are widespread (97% of users), especially listening to music (89% of users) or radio (81%). Home automation uses remain less widespread and only concern 36% of connected speaker users. By 2025, 36% of connected loudspeaker equipment is expected in French households. Hadopi and CSA have identified four major issues. First is a resurgence of consumer interest in audio media, which opens up development prospects for these services if audiences grow and the underlying business models are balanced. Second, the accumulation of powerful intermediaries between publishers and consumers raises issues of capturing and distributing value to the detriment of the editors at the end of the chain. Third, the lack of screens, the single answer and the commercial agreements affect the diversity of services, although there will be development of services on these terminals. And fourth, the specificities of the connected speakers (voice interaction, concentration of the actors), create a risk of capture of consumers. This risk is accentuated by the low level of information of users and weak recourse to the possibilities of settings. See (in French).

  • Monday, 17 June 2019

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