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A new report released last week found that 66.4 million US adults own a smart speaker as of January 2019.

This is up from 47.3 million in January 2018. They based these numbers on a total US adult population of 253 million.

From these numbers, we can gather that:

  • 26% of US adults currently own / have recently owned a smart speaker
  • 17% of US adults owned a smart speaker as of January last year
  • That’s a nearly 40% increase from 2018 to 2019

This research came from, an online publication dedicated to covering voice technology.

Here are some of the key findings from their research on smart speaker ownership in the US

1. Amazon Echo has about twice as many users as Google Home — but Google Home is gaining market share

Amazon Echo represents 61.1% of the ownership as of January 2019.

Google Home represents 23.9% of the market share.

Together, these two devices cover about 85% of the market. The remaining 15% goes to “other” devices, which include Apple HomePod and SonosOne.

In 2018, the numbers were 71.9% Amazon Echo and 18.4% Google Home.

So we can see that Google Home has gained market share — a nearly 30% increase year on year.

Also, we see that the combined market share of Amazon and Google has decreased from 90.3% to 85% from 2018 to many people own smart speakers in the US 2019

2. People who own smart speakers are also more likely to use voice assistants on their smartphones

This one may seem a bit obvious — people who use voice in one place will also likely use it in another.

According to the research:

  • 39.8% of people who own smart speakers also use a smartphone voice assistant daily.
  • 49.3% of people who do not own smart speakers rarely use a smartphone voice assistant.

And vice versa:

  • People who own smart speakers are unlikely to rarely use a voice assistant (26.8%).
  • People who do not own smart speakers are unlikely to use a voice assistant daily (19.1%).

Again, essentially just proving what we would already suppose to be true.

But still, interesting to see actual numbers around it.

how many people in the US use voice assistants and smart speakers, comparison of 2018 and 2019

On a deeper level though, this points us to the fact that voice in general does seem to be gaining ground, and quite unstoppably so.

What else is going on with voice in 2019?

The rise of smart speaker ownership has a particularly fascinating impact on voice commerce.

Earlier this year, we wondered if 2019 might be the year that voice commerce finally catches up to voice search.

  • Google announced at CES that Google Assistant would be available on 1 billion devices, including TVs and kitchen appliances, by the end of January.
  • Amazon had sold more than 100 million Alexa devices as of the 2018 holiday season.
  • Comscore predicted that by 2020, half our search engine queries will be conducted via voice.

And last week, we looked at the future of conversational commerce in general (including chatbots and messages, but also voice).

  • Estimates suggest that by 2022, 55 percent of American homes will have a smart speaker.

As ever, it seems convenience and speed are the key drivers motivating these cultural shifts. And when 85% of consumers choose the default option while voice shopping, that coveted “position zero” will continue to be the key driver for many marketers.

The full report can be downloaded for free (gated) from their website.

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