One in six Americans now own a smart speaker, according to new research out this week from NPR and Edison Research – a figure that’s up up 128 percent from January, 2017. Amazon’s Echo speakers are still in the lead, the report says, as 11 percent now own an Amazon Alexa device compared with 4 percent who own a Google Home product.
Today, 16 percent of Americans own a smart speaker, or around 39 million people.
The holiday shopping season also seemed to have played a role in the increased adoption of smart devices in the U.S., with 7 percent of Americans reporting they acquired at least one smart speaker between Black Friday and the end of December, and 4 percent saying they acquired their first smart speaker during the holidays.
Both Amazon and Google used the holiday shopping season to their advantage in terms of acquiring market share for their respective devices by slashing prices to encourage more impulse buys, and by heavily promoting the items across their storefronts. In fact, analysts believe that both Amazon and Google likely lost a few dollars per unit during the holiday season, where they were discounting their smaller form factor devices to $29 for the Amazon Echo Dot and $50 for the Google Home Mini, for example.
The end result for Amazon was that the Echo Dot became a top seller across its site and by manufacturers through the Black Friday weekend, and through the holidays, Amazon recently said.
The new report also delved into how consumers are using their devices, which have a range of functions including things like being able to stream music, control their TV and other smart home devices, and more.