5 Percent of Dutch Households Adopt Smart Speakers in Just 4.5 Months, Google Home is the Leader
Research firm Kantar TNS is reporting that 5% of households in the Netherlands adopted smart speakers in the 4.5 months since the devices were first launched in the country. Kantar surveyed 37,000 Dutch households to compile the data and found that,
17% of households are familiar with smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and 4% say they plan to use one in the near future. This means that the expected growth of smart speakers in Dutch households in the coming six months is around 80%.
Google Home Dominates
This rapid adoption is almost entirely driven by the acquisition of Google Home smart speakers. Google Assistant began offering Dutch language support in July 2018 and Google Home smart speakers began shipping in the Netherlands in October 2018. Kantar reports that about 5% of Dutch households are using Google Home today and 15% are aware of the product while 4% expect to have a device “soon.”
By contrast, Amazon Alexa does not offer Dutch language support and has only around 7% awareness and 1% household usage. Amazon Echo smart speakers have been available for purchase in the Netherlands since December 2017, but users must select one of the supported languages such as English or German to use the devices. So, technically smart speakers had been available in the country much longer than 4.5 months when the study was conducted, but it is true that they had only been available in Dutch for that period of time and the vast majority of device adoption went to Google Home after the Dutch-language localization.
The data also indicates that as much as 1% of Dutch households have both Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers. It is likely that Dutch users that had previously purchased Echo devices for use in a non-Dutch language also acquired Google Home smart speakers when they first became available due to the language localization. When Amazon first began shipping Amazon Echo devices to over 80 countries without any localization, Voicebot analysis suggested that these countries were unlikely to receive a localized language model anytime soon. The Netherlands was on that list.
Smartphone Voice Usage at 29%
Kantar also found that 29% of Dutch households were already using voice assistants on smartphones. That is nearly six times more usage than on smart speakers and is more evidence that voice app developers should be thinking about smartphone voice use cases beyond the home. This familiarity with voice may be creating a smoother onramp for smart speaker adoption, although the figure is lower than the U.S. where over 61% of smartphone owners claim to be monthly active voice assistants users on the devices.
In addition, the report found that searching the internet, listening to music, and shopping by voice were among the most popular use cases. The first two use cases mirror behaviors in the U.S. and elsewhere, but it is interesting that voice shopping was mentioned as popular given that only about one-in-five U.S. users cite it as a common practice. What the data do show clearly is that smart speakers are popular with consumers regardless of the region and offering language localization first is a quick path to establishing dominant market share.