Amazon Alexa won iHeartRadio’s “Game Changer Tech” award, given to the electronic device that helps consumers listen to music. Listening to the radio is the most common activity that people request from their smart speakers, followed by music streaming, according to iHeartRadio. With over 60% of the smart speaker market share, Amazon Alexa is the most popular choice of smart speaker with over 100 million device integrations.
Presented by country music star Garth Brooks and iHeartRadio personality Bobby Bones, Alexa accepted the award with a tongue in cheek speech thanking her fans.
“It feels electric. I couldn’t have done this without my fans, especially all you ceiling and bathroom fans out there. And a big shout out to Wi-Fi for always supporting me. Without you, I’d be speechless,”
Alexa said. 2019 was the first year that iHeartRadio included a Game Changer Tech Award, and its expected to remain a part of the awards for years to come.
Smart speakers are quickly rising in popularity, with ownership in the U.S increasing by 40% in the year 2018, according to a report from Voicebot and Voicify. With about 133 million smart speakers in the U.S, the number of smart speakers per U.S user rose by 10% last year, with a huge influx of more casual users.
Smart displays from market giants like Amazon and Google contributed to this increase in popularity, along with the addition of more smart speaker manufacturers like Sonos, Bang & Olufsen, and Klipsch. Despite the diversification of the industry’s manufacturers, Amazon and Google held 85% of the market share at the beginning of 2019, with the Amazon Echo Dot as the most popular smart speaker overall. The Echo Dot alone has around 61% of the market share, down from 72% at the beginning of 2018. However, given the rise in smart speaker ownership, it’s expected that the industry will continue to grow exponentially.