Since its launch in 2014, Amazon’s Echo smart speaker has revolutionized the market by introducing the concept of a virtual digital assistant with Alexa. This sleek device quickly gained popularity among Amazon Prime members and soon became available to all U.S. consumers. Offering a range of features, the Echo allows users to play music, stream content, and access a variety of information such as news, weather, stock prices, and sports scores. Additionally, users can enhance Alexa’s capabilities by adding skills to perform tasks like playing games and acting as a burglar alarm.
In a recent study conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) on the U.S. Smart Speaker market, Amazon still maintains a dominant position with a 70% market share. Google’s Home branded speakers follow with a 23% share, leaving Apple and its HomePod line with a modest 7% share. This comes as no surprise given Amazon’s early entry into the market and the success of their Echo devices.
CIRP also examined the activities most commonly performed by smart speaker owners in the U.S. Unsurprisingly, playing music emerged as the top activity across all devices, with 57% of Echo users, 70% of HomePod users, and 54% of Google Home users reporting daily music usage. Following closely behind, asking questions to the virtual assistants ranked as the second most popular activity for Echo (48%), Home (53%), and HomePod (66%) users.
Among Echo and Home users, setting timers and alarms ranked third in terms of usage (41% and 42% respectively), followed by controlling smart home devices (33% for Echo users and 39% for Home users). Apple’s HomePod, on the other hand, saw a reverse in the order of these activities, with 55% of users utilizing it to control smart home products and 47% using it for setting alarms and timers.
Although smart speakers have gained significant traction, with 35% of American adults owning one as of June 2022, there is still a sizable portion of the population yet to adopt this technology. With smartphones providing similar functionalities like playing music, answering questions, and controlling smart devices, it begs the question of whether there is untapped demand for smart speakers.
In conclusion, Amazon’s Echo continues to dominate the U.S. smart speaker market, offering a wide range of features and Alexa’s versatile capabilities. As the smart speaker market evolves, it will be interesting to see how competition from Google and Apple shapes the industry and whether the demand for this technology will continue to grow.