Smart speaker ownership rose by 40% in 2018, according to a report from Voicebot and Voicify. The amount of smart speakers per user rose 10% in 2018 with about 133 million smart speakers in the U.S. This influx of new users brings smart speaker adoption to Phase 2, characterized by “an influx of more casual users but also by the introduction of new product form factors and new manufacturers,” said the report.
One of the biggest changes in smart speakers were smart displays from Amazon and Google, writes Bret Kinsella and Ava Mutchler in the report. In addition, more manufacturers have produced smart speakers, such as Bang & Olufsen, Klipsch, and Sonos, a luxury manufacturer that went public last year. However, Amazon and Google still dominated the market share at 85% at the beginning of 2019.
Currently, the Amazon Echo is the most popular smart speaker brand, with 61% of the market share compared to 72% at the beginning of 2018. The Echo Dot is Amazon’s most popular smart speaker, available at anywhere from around $20 to $50. While Amazon’s market share declined in 2018, Google’s market share increased from 18.4% to almost 24%. On the other hand Cortana, Microsoft’s smart home platform, has transitioned from a physical platform into a skill for Microsoft 365 subscribers, available on competing smart home platforms.
The new smart speaker users are less likely to use their devices daily, said the report. While in January 2018, 64% of owners said that they used their speakers daily, that number fell to 47% in January 2019.
“This seems like a natural progression. Early adopters of technology are more likely to incorporate them quickly into their daily habits than consumers that tend to adopt later,”
reads the report. Despite this decrease in daily use, it’s expected that smart speaker ownership will continue to increase bearing “consistent usage along with continued growth”.