According to data from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, despite the dynamic entry of other tech companies into the smart speaker market, Amazon dominates so far – at least in the US and the UK.
Smart speakers are becoming more and more popular, especially in the US, where 8.9% of adults admit to using a voice-activated speaker in the last week. The smart speaker market is currently dominated by Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and Apple’s HomePod, with Amazon clearly in the lead in both the UK and US markets. According to data from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s November Digital News Report, 74 per cent of smart speaker owners in the UK – and 63 per cent of smart speaker owners in the US – say that their main smart speaker is an Amazon device.
Google is in second place with 14 per cent and 26 per cent of smart speaker owners in the UK and the US respectively using a Google product like the Home speaker. The report also mentions that Amazon’s dominance is due to its advantage as having made the first move in the market. However, this position is being challenged. In places like Australia, where Amazon wasn’t a ‘first mover’ Google has been able to move ahead. The report also states that in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, the “absence of competitors” has also allowed Google to grow easily.
Smart speaker technology is still considered to be in its infancy despite the many products that are currently on the market. And while they are still mainly just speakers hooked up to virtual assistants, smart speakers can be used for a variety of things – including e-commerce. Many companies are moving towards adding screens to subsequent versions of their smart speakers. Facebook’s introduction to the industry with its Portal device is probably a good example of this.
Yet, smart speakers with screens only make up a tiny fraction of the smart speaker market – 8 per cent of the UK market and 6 per cent in the US.
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