Voicebot Turns 1, Offers a Front Row Seat to the Voice Revolution

Voicebot celebrated its one-year anniversary this past Friday. Ava and I are excited about how well the work has been received. This little side project has grown much faster than we expected. Then again, the intensity of interest in voice assistants has exceeded even the most seasoned analysts’ predictions. Voicebot has simply reported on those developments and in the process found a sizable and rapidly growing audience.

Over 55,000 Voicebot Readers in One Year

We just updated readers on some of our stats recently when we passed 100k page views. You can check those out here: Voicebot Passes 100k Page Views.  Since that time, our page views have grown over 30%–pretty nice considering most of that time was August–and unique user count is now over 55,000 in our first year. Two new articles also cracked our top 10 most viewed in past month.

Our top viewed article remains the story about when Amazon passed 15,000 Alexa skills in early July. The story about the 20,000 Alexa skill milestone in August didn’t take off in the same way. Maybe it was the time of year and maybe there was too much other news. There are 20,733 Alexa skills today in the U.S. and over 7,500 in the UK, for what it’s worth.

Focus on Analysis and a Little Breaking News on the Side

We were also proud to break some news this year. Voicebot was the first to report on Cortana’s 145 million monthly active users, the beginning of Amazon payments to Alexa game developers, and the 7,000, 15,000, and 20,000 Amazon Alexa skill milestones in the U.S. We have been the only outlet to report on total Alexa skills in the UK and Germany and Google Assistant apps in the U.S. All of those reports were subsequently corroborated by company announcements or other data. Along the way, Voicebot became the number one source for data and stats related to the voice assistant adoption. Yes, we also launched a Podcast!

More recently we found out through Voicebot readers that WhatsApp is building a Google Assistant app and Amazon is working on a native SMS solution for Alexa. Those are still being kept under wraps by the platforms, but we are confident they will soon see the light of day. There is a lot of news coming out every week and sometimes the Voicebot community is the first to recognize its importance. All of these cool publications below have seen fit to include our findings in their coverage.

What Happened in One-Year of Voicebot

I thought I’d also share three things that stand out about what Ava and I have seen transpire over the past year.

  1. When we first started it was all about Amazon Echo and Echo Dot and both were only available in one country. Now they are available in three countries and Google Home came along almost a year ago and it is available today in six countries with more slated for later this year.
  2. 2016 was about smart speakers but 2017 started off with CES showing that the Alexa voice assistant wouldn’t be contained within plastic cylinders for very long. That continued through IFA earlier this month where both Alexa and Google Assistant started showing up in a lot of third party devices. Oh, and Google Assistant is now available on over 200 million smart phones, Siri claims 375 million monthly active users and Cortana is used by 145 million people monthly. Voice assistants are moving everywhere you can place a microphone.
  3. Everyone underestimated total smart speaker device sales. Early reports of maybe five million smart speakers sold in 2016 have since been revised and it looks like the optimistic estimate by VoiceLabs of 24 million voice-first devices sold this year may have been a too conservative. New data show that 4.2 million devices were shipped in Q2 2017 and 3.3 million Echos were sold on a single day in July. There may only be 24 million smart speakers sold this year in Western countries but many millions more devices such as watches and appliances with voice assistant access will add to that total. Then there’s China. With three big players all selling some form of voice assistant enabled device, you can bet global sales will climb even higher.

Predictions for Year 2

We generally leave the predictions for our guest experts, but here are a couple of near-term predictions we think you can take it to the bank to kick off Voicebot’s second year.

  1. Bret – More than 10 million smart speakers will be sold globally in Q4 2017
  2. Ava – Google Home will release a smaller, less expensive device to rival the Amazon Echo Dot and announce at the October 4th Pixel launch.
  3. Bret – Apple will sell out of its meager shipment of HomePods in 2017 in less than a day and make so much money on iPhones in Q4 that everyone will forget about Siri’s shortcomings for 24 hours.

Thank you to everyone that has offered us kudos and those that have focused more on constructive feedback. We appreciate your input, love your social sharing and look forward to serving our readers, the Voice Revolutionaries, for year number two. Share this on Twitter now and sign up for our great weekly newsletter. Onward.

Voicebot Passes 100k Page Views

Voice Assistant Timeline: A Short History of the Voice Revolution