Amazon Alexa Turns Four Today
Happy birthday Alexa. Today, Amazon’s voice assistant turns four. Never to miss an opportunity for promotion, Amazon is obviously celebrating with discounts on Alexa-integrated products, including 50% off the Amazon Echo Look and 25% off the second-generation Amazon Echo Dot. Users can also wish Alexa a happy birthday and she’ll respond that she has a special gift – an exclusive birthday song by Michael Buble. While the Buble birthday song might be a little over the top, Alexa does have a lot to celebrate. The voice assistant has come a long way in four years.
A Look Back: Amazon Alexa Timeline Recap
November 2014: Amazon Alexa and Echo launch, available exclusively to Prime Members only
June 2015: Amazon officially launches Alexa in the U.S. and introduces the Alexa Skills Kit
March 2016: Amazon introduces the lower-priced Amazon Echo Dot
September 2016: Alexa takes her first international trip, launches in the U.K. and Germany
March 2017: Alexa hits her first big milestone: 10,000 skills
October 2017: Alexa hits another milestone: Jeff Bezos claims over 20 million Alexa devices have been sold
2018: The Year Alexa Went Mainstream
This is the year Amazon Alexa went mainstream. She has become a part of pop culture, being featured in SNL skits and a well-publicized celebrity-laden Super Bowl ad. There is an Alexa skill for almost everything, from voting information to fantasy football tips. She can even whisper.
According to an Amazon blog post in September, Alexa now has over 50,000 skills worldwide, works with 20,000 devices and is supported by 3,500 products. Voicebot data show Alexa skills in the U.S. alone passed 40,000 last month and already exceed 45,000 today. She also hasn’t lost her lead market share in the U.S. A recent Voicebot study found that Amazon still holds nearly two-thirds of the smart speaker market share in the US at 64.6%.
Alexa’s journey is just beginning. Recently, Amazon announced a dozen new Alexa-integrated devices just in time for the holiday season. Alexa will be integrated into automobiles and in smart homes from the ground up. Apple’s Siri may have been the first voice assistant consumers adopted but Alexa was the first voice assistant consumers explicitly adopted by purchasing new devices and changing their habits. Unlike Siri, Alexa had no built-in user base. Now, she has tens of millions.