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Nielsen Launches New MediaTech Trender Survey to Uncover Consumer Sentiment on Emerging Technologies

4 minute read | September 2018

New Survey Aims to Measure Current and Emerging Trends as Technology Continues to Grow and Consumer Habits Shift in the Ways They Engage With Media

New York, NY – Sept. 27, 2018 – Today, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) announced the launch of the Nielsen MediaTech Trender, a quarterly consumer tracking survey that focuses on perceptions of emerging devices and services that are shaping media use today. This survey, conducted among 2,000 U.S consumers (aged 13+), aims to uncover opinion and sentiment around nascent and ascending technologies, such as smart speakers, Virtual Reality (VR) and other new platforms for consuming content and advertising.

In taking the pulse of consumer sentiment toward existing or emerging technology, Nielsen will be able to help uncover the often nuanced consumer decisioning that can either drive success through adoption or leave some forms of new electronic devices or platforms struggling to gain market appeal. By gauging this sentiment in a trended fashion, Nielsen’s MediaTech Trender will ultimately be able to offer to marketers and device manufacturers, as well as both media buyers and sellers, an advanced look at what technologies may be poised for success and which of these may be waning—helping them plan for the future and potentially drive efficiencies in their media mix.

“Technology and media devices over the last couple of decades have seen an incredible amount of innovation, adoption and growth. Consumers are not only incredibly tech savvy—they’re voraciously plugged in,” says Peter Katsingris, SVP, Audience Insights, Nielsen. “With so many choices of media to consume and innovative products being introduced into the marketplace, gauging consumer sentiment towards them is crucial in understanding not only what’s ‘now’ but also what’s ‘next.’ The MediaTech Trender is unique in that it gives our clients an inside peek into this world of emerging tech and how it relates to consumer perception.”

The MediaTech Trender serves as vital service that complements Nielsen’s trusted suite of audience measurement solutions with qualitative insights and consumer perceptions. Nielsen continues to expand its expertise and capabilities in the digital space, providing clients and the industry at large an established, trusted source of third-party measurement.

Key MediaTech Trender Insights:

  • In the first-quarter of this year, 64% of adult smartphone users viewed video within a social networking site/app at least once a day while 46% of tablet users did so. For younger adults (18-34 year olds), these percentages are even higher—at 72% and 57%, respectively.
  • Demographics play a key role in device usage and how content is consumed. The survey uncovered that 64% of streaming service users aged 18-34 say that they are motivated to stream content when they found existing shows they previously watched or listened to on traditional media. This is still a factor even as demographics age— 62% among persons aged 35-49 and 59% among persons aged 50-64. Users of all ages are open to changing their behavior and how they are viewing to find the content they want to watch.
  • 45% of adults said that they subscribe to video streaming services to gain access to video content they like and 42% said they sign up due to a specific program.
  • In the second quarter of 2018, household ownership of smart speakers reached 24%, up from 22% in the previous quarter.
  • Of those who have a smart speaker, four out of 10 have more than one. The living room is the most popular location (63%) followed by the bedroom (35%) and kitchen (28%).
  • While smart speakers offer a plethora of capabilities, listening to audio is paramount: music is the most popular activity on a smart speaker, with 90% of users saying they use it in a typical week. Search functions for real-time information (like current temperature) as well as factual information (like historical facts) were the next most popular.
  • Syncing capabilities to smart speakers enables the device to be a hub of connectivity. Mobile phones are the most likely device to be synced with a smart speaker (32%), while audio streaming (53%) and shopping apps (52%) are the most likely synced apps.
  • Users display a number of positive sentiments toward smart speaker devices, with most showing the potential to further their use and reach. Smart speaker users would like to discover and use more capabilities of smart speakers (75%) and would recommend them or purchase them as a gift to friends/family (72%).
  • Multicultural consumers are taking charge when it comes to audio streaming services and smart speakers. In the first quarter, compared to the national average (43%), Black (52%), Hispanic (45%) and Asian American (55%) consumers have over indexed with their interest in using or subscribing to a streaming service.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Sal Tuzzeo

Michael Receno