U.S. Smart Display Adoption by Smart Speaker Owners 600×400

U.S. Smart Display User Base Grew by More Than 50% in 2020

While the smart speaker market’s U.S. adoption rate barely grew in 2020, smart displays followed another path entirely. Voicebot has tracked smart display adoption multiple times per year since 2018 and 2020 witnessed a surge in device adoption. Just over 16% of U.S. adults that owned smart speakers at the beginning of 2020 had at least one smart display in their device collection. By September, that figure reached 24.1% and it was 25.8% in January 2021. That is a significant rise considering the previous 12-months saw only about a three percentage point rise. The 2020 growth rate was three times higher.

This trend data were first reported in Voicebot’s U.S. Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report 2021. The report includes over 30 pages of analysis, hundreds of individual data points, and 35 charts, including several that address smart speaker and smart display market share by vendor and installed user base.

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Video Chat is the Driver

It may seem counterintuitive that smart displays grew so quickly and yet the overall smart speaker market did not. The answer is embedded in the chart above. New smart display owners in 2020 were not new smart speaker owners. Instead, they were existing smart speaker owners that were acquiring their first smart displays during the global COVID-19 pandemic. So, they didn’t expand the smart speaker user base very much but they did add a new voice interactive device type to many consumer homes.

The motivation behind the mass acquisition of smart displays was likely video chat. It is the key feature that screenless smart speakers cannot provide and it is one of the things that really differentiate the smart displays. While you can make phone calls with some smart speakers, smart display users employ this communication feature at more than a 50% higher rate. This was true before 2020 and the metric held as more people adopted smart displays.

Zoom and Google Meet have accustomed people to video chat as a primary communication option. That is something Apple’s Facetime never accomplished to the same degree. However, Zoom and Google Meet are not always convenient for the context of personal conversations and Facetime is very effective but holding the phone or tablet for long periods of time is at best uncomfortable. In addition, features such as “drop-in” offered a unique ability to check in on a loved one without them having to accept a call. This can be very useful when trying to stay connected with aging adult family members.

The ease of use, form factor, and convenience of smart displays made them perfectly suited for seeing friends and family via video at a time when they could not be seen physically. Despite the economic uncertainty that led many consumers to put off consumer electronic purchases, smart displays were popular because they offered features that addressed an immediate need during the government-mandated stay-at-home policies.

Learn More About Smart Speaker Trends

You can learn more about smart speaker and smart display consumer adoption, use, and market share trends by downloading Voicebot’s U.S. Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report 2021. Some of the 35-charts in the report include:

  • Smart Speaker Adoption Among U.S. Adults – 2021
  • U.S. Smart Speaker Market Share by Brand – 2018-21
  • U.S. Smart Speaker Market Share by Device – 2021
  • U.S. Smart Display Market Share – 2021
  • Smart Speakers Owned Per U.S. Household – 2018-21
  • Where Consumers Have Smart Speakers in 2021
  • Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Smart Speaker Usage
  • Consumer Interest in Accessing Customer Service Through Smart Speakers
  • How Smart Speaker Owners Discover Voice Apps – 2018-2021
  • Third-Party Voice App Users – 2021
  • Concern About Smart Speaker Privacy Risk – All U.S. Adults 2018-21
  • Concern About Smart Speaker Privacy Risk – Smart Speaker Owners
  • Reason Consumers Don’t Yet Have a Smart Speaker
  • Smart Speaker Purchase Intent – 2018-21
  • And many more…
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