What we are thinking about

Modified from Quora answer on a broader topic – please check out and up-vote!

This is a great question, although we have a few levels to parse out:

Logic Flow:

  1. Voice Interfaces will become a MAJOR way to access/search information.
  2. Access Points will largely dictate which Voice Interface you use, by setting the default.
  3. The nature of Voice will disrupt search as we know it.
  4. Content Platforms stand a lot to lose, unless they innovate.

Headline 1: Voice Interfaces will be come a MAJOR way to access/search information

We’ll start with stats. I was blown away with how mainstream voice search is already, and Mary Meeker called it out:

Voice Proliferation - Mary Meeker

Voice Proliferation – Mary Meeker

Anecdotally, we are watching more people getting comfortable with Voice Interfaces. Voice is still largely used for commands, i.e. ‘Call Mom,’ but the Echo and others are training consumers to use Voice for much more.

Headline 2: Access Points will largely dictate which Voice Interface you use, by setting the default.

At VoiceLabs we are doing very granular tracking of Voice Enabled devices (Access Points) in 2016–2018, and the trends are clear: The majority of Voice Enabled Access Points will be Android and iOS, hence Google Assistant and Apple Siri are the Voice Interfaces in the best competitive positions.

When you have an iPhone, it is SO much easier to use Apple Siri vs. another Voice Interface for the initial voice session. Therefore, Voice Interface usage will closely correlate with the number of Voice Enabled Access Points. Amazon is starting from scratch with the Echo, while Apple has sold over a billion iPhones.

Now, that doesn’t mean others can’t profit. Amazon’s Alexa is increasing Prime Subscriptions and share of Commerce wallet, but that is a whole different topic.

Another topic is Amazon Alexa is currently the only open ecosystem, which should increase the velocity of innovation. That is why VoiceLabs built our Voice Analytics product first for Alexa.

Headline 3: The nature of Voice will disrupt search as we know it.

This is a fifteen page manifesto in itself, so to keep it simple run a search for a Thai restaurant purely via voice vs. keyword search in Google.

Via voice, you will likely pick the first place and book a reservation, and try and start and finish the process in less than a minute.

Via Google text keyword search, you might browse five links, click in and out of Yelp, read two reviews, and end up on OpenTable to book the restaurant.

In this scenario, Voice removes 95% of Revenue for both text-based search engines and content platforms.

The only potential Ad revenue is if that first Voice result is ‘Voice Adwords,’ (i.e. Sponsored) or if the search was sponsored by a brand related to the search. (i.e. OpenTable sponsoring a Yelp search result.)

That said, if Google, MSFT and Apple control the voice search, I imagine they’ll find ways to monetize. It is really the Content Platforms and the Search Engines that don’t have a winning Voice Interface that are at risk.

Headline 4: Content Platforms stand a lot to lose, unless they innovate.

This was similar to what happened when Google took the top half of the page away from Yelp with its own Restaurant reviews. (see below)  Yelp responded by investing heavily in mobile to better control the consumer experience.

That is what VoiceLabs is focused on – helping Content Platforms thrive in the Voice-enabled world. It is a big deal and we are ready for the Voice evolution. Message me if you want to chat further.

——-

More content from VoiceLabs: Learn about how Voice will be part of the Minority Report future.  The One Metric every Voice developer should track. Get notified of new content!

 

Thai food, served by Google

Thai food, served by Google