U.S. Smart Speaker Users Rise to 57 Million

A September 2018 survey by of over 1,000 U.S. adults found that 57.8 million own at least one smart speaker. That is 23% of U.S. adults and reflects 22% growth since January 2018. This is significant in part because the rate of smart speaker adoption does not appear to be slowing much even as the user base grows. And, this rise in smart speaker users is prior to the fourth quarter holiday shopping season when more than 50% of annual devices sales have taken place the past two years.

It seems nearly certain that smart speaker market penetration will exceed 25% in the U.S. before year-end and may approach 30% adoption. Keep in mind that these figures are of total adult population. There are some studies that suggest higher market adoption rate, but they are only considering adults that are online as opposed to total population or even narrows population cohorts.

New Voice Assistant Adoption Survey Data

This data is from a survey behind a forthcoming industry analysis in the Voicebot Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report. The report includes the most up-to-date of smart speaker usage by consumers and also includes analysis of voice usage on smartphones, wireless headphones, smart televisions and more. It reflects the first in-depth attempt to compare voice adoption and usage patterns across multiple device surfaces. To pre-register for a free copy of the report, click the button below and fill out the form. We will send you the report when it comes available in the next few days.


More Smart Speaker Makers Will Boost Consumer Adoption

One factor that should spur consumer adoption further is third-party smart speaker manufacturers. Most of the smart speaker promotion thus far has fallen on the voice assistant platforms Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Harman Kardon, Sonos, Sony were available in late 2017 which likely helped introduce new consumers to the product category. However, since that time, big brands such as Bang & Olufsen, BoseLG, and Harman Kardon have introduced new devices that will first be available to 2018 holiday shoppers. Each of these device makers will be promoting the category and offering amplification of what is sure to be heavy advertising by Amazon and Google. Costco is already planning a Black Friday special for a 3-pack of Google Home Mini’s for $69.99 or $23.33 each, a substantial discount off the standard $49.99 list price. Then there is Apple. HomePod missed the 2017 holiday shopping season entirely and already had 4.5% market share since launching in the U.S. in February 2018. HomePod will enter its first holiday shopping season as a premium gift option for many Apple fans.

Finally, there are the smart displays. This emerging category of voice-activated smart speakers with display screens is sure to receive substantial promotion for Amazon Echo Show, Google Home Hub, Facebook Portal, JBL LinkView and Lenovo Smart Display. As a category extension it is well positioned to capture sales from existing smart speaker owners looking for the added features and some new consumers enthusiastic about video chat or as a kitchen television replacement.


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