UK Smart Speaker Adoption Surpasses U.S. in 2020 – New Report with 33 Charts

The smart speaker ownership rate in the UK surpassed the U.S. at the end of 2020. It took just four years for the UK to surpass U.S. adoption where the devices were first introduced six years ago.

Over 38% of UK adults owned a smart speaker at the start of 2021. That was up from 30.7% at the beginning of 2020 and reflected 24.5% growth during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The data was first published yesterday by Voicebot Research in the UK Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report 2021 and is based on a survey of over 1,000 UK adults representative of the national population. The adoption rate since 2019 has nearly tripled in the UK while only advancing by about one-third in the U.S. during the period.



Unlike in Germany where the growth in smart speaker adoption closely mirrors the U.S. experience, the UK broke from that pattern in 2019 and the difference accelerated in 2020.

Device owners in all three countries significantly increased their use of smart speakers in 2020 which is largely explained by being at home more and in near proximity to their smart speakers during the height of the global pandemic. Despite the increased use, there were very few net new smart speaker owners in the U.S. in 2020. Nearly all of the new U.S. device sales were to existing smart speaker owners.

The UK, by contrast, saw significant expansion as consumers were looking to have more conveniences while at home. There were more new smart speaker owners in the UK than the U.S. in 2020 on both a relative and nominal basis despite having about one-fifth of the adult population size.

20 Million UK Smart Speaker Users

The UK adoption rate reflects about 20 million smart speaker users as of early 2021. Nearly one-in-five of these consumers own at least one smart display. That is well behind the U.S. adoption rate today but it ahead of where Americans were in this product subcategory a year ago. The isolation felt by many consumers in 2020 led to increased interest in the smart display video chat feature driving up sales.

Who Cares More About Privacy?

The report also includes a detailed analysis of consumer sentiment around privacy concerns in the UK versus the U.S. While many analysts and consultants assumed Europeans would resist smart speaker adoption more than U.S. consumers on privacy grounds, the data tell a different story. It is the U.S. consumers that express more concern about privacy than their UK counterparts. This appears to be less of an impediment to further smart speaker adoption in the UK and is an important influence on the forecast for 2021 device sales.

Get the Report on Smart Speaker Adoption in the UK

This report is the first time that Voicebot has issued focused on the UK smart speaker market. It provides the depth of analysis and breadth of data resources readers are accustomed to receiving from the Voicebot Research team. The data is available in over 30 charts alongside more than 30 pages of analysis. Both the data findings and the meaning behind these insights are included.  Hundreds of data points complement charts such as:

  • Smart Speaker Adoption Among UK Adults – 2019-2021
  • UK Smart Speaker Market Share by Brand – 2021
  • UK Smart Speaker Market Share by Device – 2021
  • UK Smart Display Market Share – 2021
  • Smart Speakers Owned Per UK Household
  • 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
  • Concern About Smart Speaker Privacy Risk – All Adults and Smart Speaker Owners
  • Reason UK Consumers Don’t Yet Have a Smart Speaker
  • Smart Speaker UK Consumer Purchase Intent and Forecast 2021
  • And many more…(click through to see the full chart list)

To learn more about the report, see the data, and check out the latest smart speaker adoption trends for UK, click the button below to go to Voicebot Research. Also, let me know what you think about the findings on Twitter @bretkinsella. Were your surprised that the UK is now the global leader in smart speaker adoption?



Germany Smart Speaker Adoption Closely Mirrors U.S. Pattern – New Report with 30+ Charts

U.S. Smart Speaker Growth Flat Lined in 2020

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