Smart speakers – think Alexa, Google Home – are a runaway success. And they are gaining traction not only in the US and Europe but also India and China.
Smart speakers are not only gaining traction, they are changing our habits.
The big surprising change – decreasing our reliance on our most prized asset – the smartphone.
I came across this first in an Accenture report (PDF) last spring.
Curiously titled “Time to navigate the super myway”, the report made a few bold claims.
- If stated purchase plans hold, DVA device ownership will reach one-third of the online population in China, India, the US, Brazil, and Mexico by the end of 2018
- “Since I got my DVA I use my smartphone for fewer activities: 66% Agree or Strongly Agree
Even though the study included a significant participant set n = 2,271, I was skeptical.
I have two Alexa devices at home and didn’t think that my smartphone consumption had reduced.
But then I came across another report.
This one is by NPR and Edison Research, titled the Smart Audio Report.
What sets this one apart is the ongoing nature of their research.
First done in winter 2017, then again in spring 2018, and recently in winter 2018.
This will be a good resource to track if you’re curious about voice as an emerging platform.
There were two key trends from this ongoing research.
1. Increased Ownership and Usage
Smart speakers in US households grew by 78% and people bought more than one.
2. Decreasing Smartphone Usage
Smart speakers owners use smartphones less for a variety of activities.
- Smart speakers represent a fast-growing platform
- Growth is coming from both early and late majority of user segments
- Smart speakers are impacting smartphone usage – weather, music, podcast, news briefings apps are the most at risk
- Companies will need to focus on a blend of digital and physical experiences to retain users where voice is an available alternative
- Amazon, Google, and Baidu will likely be the key players and fight for dominance worldwide