Amazon Echo Maintains Smart Speaker Lead In The U.S. As Adoption Booms
A new report is out that looks at the smart speaker market in the U.S. for 2018, and the market grew significantly year-over-year. Voicebot.ai, an analytics company, reports that smart speaker owners in the U.S. increased by 40% in 2018 to close the year at 66.4 million smart speaker owners. The total number of smart speakers in use across the U.S. reached 133 million units.
Key takeaways in the report include that Amazon is still far and away the leader in the smart speaker market with its Alexa devices. Amazon owned 71.9% of the market in January 2018 with Google holding 18.4% of the market; all other smart speaker makers totaled 9.7% of the market.
Interestingly, in 2019 Amazon is seeing its share of the market erode significantly. In January 2019 Amazon held 61.1% of the smart speaker market with Google having gained with 23.9% of the market, and other smart speaker makers totaling 15% of the market (that would include Apple's pricey HomePod). The report notes that smart speaker owners have also increased their use of smart assistants on smartphones.
Voicebot's report notes that 39.8% of smart speaker owners use smartphones voice assistants at least daily, compared to 19.1% of non-smart speaker owners. The report also looked at the number of actions for Google Assistant versus the number of Alexa Skills, finding that there were 4,253 Google Assistant Actions in January 2019, which is only 7.5% of the number of available Alexa Skills.
The sheer number of available Alexa Skills allows users to get a lot more things done using their voice than Google Assistant users can accomplish. Interestingly, the report also calls out the fact that consumers are more comfortable than ever with using voice commands in public, especially men. As people become more comfortable using voice commands the number of voice interactions will increase.