New research has come out that looks at the number of Americans that own a smart speaker along the lines of the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices. The research came from NPR and Edison Research, and found that 16% of Americans own a smart speaker, putting the figure at around 39 million people.
That the figure is up 128% from January 2017, and the leading product in the segment is the Amazon Echo family. According to the numbers in the report, 11% of Americans own an Amazon smart speaker, with 4% owning a Google Home device.
The number of people who received a new smart spaker during the holiday shopping season was very high according to the report, 7% say they acquired at least one smart speaker between Black Friday and the end of December. A full 4% of that number reported that it was their first smart speaker.
One major reason that smart speakers sold so well during the holiday is that the devices were deeply discounted. Some analysts think that Amazon and Google might have lost a few bucks per unit just to move product. The Amazon Echo Dot sold for $29 during the shopping season, while the Google Home Mini sold for $50 (and much less with promotions from retailers like Walmart).
The Echo Dot was the best seller across Amazon and other retailers in the segment during the holidays. The report also looked at what people planned to do with their smart speakers. 64% of those who responded in the survey are using the device for smart home functionality and 66% said they wanted to entertain using the speakers with music and other content.
The smart speakers have the potential to disrupt other entertainment devices in the home. 30% of smart speaker owners said that the device replaced some of the time they spent with their TV and 71% of people use the devices to listen to news and podcasts.