There are very few products in today’s consumer electronics market as hot and exciting as Smart Speakers.
These remarkable units, in combination with the Internet of Things (IoT), allow voice interaction with the internet, the home and its appliances and fixtures, friends, family members and associates, entertainment, shopping, news and weather, and much, much more – and in a way so cool and technologically advanced that they almost seem something from a science fiction movie.
But they are real, and they are here right now. In fact, they are an incredible sales phenomenon.
The problem is, that there is very little real data about smart speaker sales and demographics, and what smart speaker statistics there are tend to be all over the place. Finding a single source with a fairly complete picture of the market seems impossible – at least, that is, without having to pay literally thousands of dollars for a professionally compiled sales and demographics report.
That is why we here at Speakergy have decided to compile a definitive guide to smart speaker statistics, including sales data, demographics, and use, and now extensively updated for 2023.
Our definitive guide to the smart speaker market will include four parts:
- Sales: What Vendors are Selling Smart Speakers?
- Demographics: Who is Buying Smart Speakers?
- Use: What are We Using Smart Speakers for?
- Interesting Facts about People and their Smart Speakers
It is our hope that by putting together a complete picture of smart speaker sales data in 2023, smart speaker demographic data in 2023, and smart speaker usage data in 2023 we can offer a valuable source of information that, until now, has been sorely needed.
Please note that in places we will include the same smart Speaker statistics from several different sources, and the numbers may be slightly different. We include these sources in the hopes of making this the most complete source of smart speaker statistics currently available, and to offer a hopefully useful different dimension to the numbers.
You will also note that many of the smart speaker datasets exclude China, as it is much more difficult to obtain reliable sales and demographic figures from there – though this seems to be changing, and indeed mainland China is projected to have by far the largest smart speaker sales and used worldwide in the next few years.
On the other end of the spectrum, by far the most strongly represented country in our statistical analysis is the United States, which is not only the biggest consumer of smart speakers globally – at least according to the most recent complete sales statistics – but also has the most published data about smart speaker sales, markets, and usage.
By the way, you can find the complete dataset we have compiled here (if you are a nerd like me and love spreadsheets, then it's going to be a treat for you haha)
Special Note: 2023 Update
Since first compiling our Smart Speaker data sets and publishing this article, two years ago now, the global and US markets have seen some pretty significant and interesting changes, and so it is definitely time to update our figures.
Probably the most obvious and most impactful factor since we wrote our original Smart Speakers Statistics report a couple of years ago is the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the related issues around forced isolation, as well as challenges to manufacturing, sales, and the economy.
The effect of this factor has been in many ways difficult to predict – on one hand, more telecommuting and homeschooling would seem to bring about an increase in sales of devices like Smart Speakers and smart displays, not to mention the increased time people have been spending in their homes and their assumed desire to invest in their living space.
At the same time, manufacturers of Smart Speakers (and many other products) have had to deal with difficulties in obtaining materials and supplies for manufacture, consistent availability of employees, delays and problems in shipping products out, overall economic slowdown, lower consumer confidence, and many other issues.
On balance, while there has been some slowdown in Smart Speaker sales, overall the market continues to grow at a remarkable rate, with no end in sight. Please enjoy our Complete Smart Speakers Statistical Analysis for 2023.
We hope you find it both interesting and helpful!
Smart Speaker Sales Statistics For 2023
What companies are selling the most Smart Speakers?
Global Smart Speaker Sales by Vendor
Amazon sells more Smart Speakers than any other vendor worldwide – 16.5 million Amazon Echo units in the last quarter of 2020 alone. And while not included in the above data charts, according to the most recent numbers their dominance continues, with over 28% of sales in Q1 2023.
Google comes in second, with sales of 13.2 million Google Nest Smart Speakers in Q4 2020, though this is a slight drop from the same quarter in the previous year.
Apple has shown significant gains in the market recently, with its HomePod products moving from number six in Q4 2019 to five in Q4 2020. Indeed, their rise seems to be accelerating, as they are now the third-largest global seller, with more unit sales as of Q1 2023 than any of the three major Chinese vendors.
Those Chinese majors – – Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi – were third, fourth and sixth respectively as of the final quarter of 2020, but as of the first quarter of this year (2023), there is some reshuffling, with Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi respectively now taking the fourth, fifth and sixth spots – again, with Apple moving up to third.
Projection: Despite some setbacks, including sluggish economy, pandemic and war, Smart Speaker sales did better in the last couple of years than many analysts predicted, and are still on line for remarkable growth. Although growth has slowed, we still expect global sales to exceed 60 billion dollars by 2028 - a remarkable CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 32% annually.
Global Smart Speaker Market Share by Vendor
In the analysis of the Smart Speaker’s market share worldwide for 2023, things look very similar. Amazon maintains a clear lead in overall sales and shipments, with 26.4% of the market, while Google still holds second place, with 20.5%.
While a couple of years ago the Chinese vendors had the third, fourth, and fifth spots in global market share, Apple has made advances, and as of the 3rd quarter of 2021 sits at fifth, with around twice the global unit sales of the sixth place vendor, Xiaomi.
Even though Amazon has enjoyed clear growth in units sold between 2019 and 2021, its market share is actually decreasing, while Google has shown a similarly sized increase in market share during the same time period.
Projection: While Amazon has been the top Smart Speaker seller for some time, many sources project that Google will take over first place within 2 to 3 years, and will have nearly half the market share by 2025.
Smart Speaker Global Market Share – Chinese Vendors
Interesting data sets around the share of the global Smart Speaker market held by Chinese manufacturers – especially the big 3: Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi – show that the Chinese market share has gone up and down in the last few years.
Chinese vendors’ combined market share in the global Smart Speaker market showed the strongest growth in the 4th quarter of 2018, with a remarkable 138% gain. Other quarters have shown losses in global market share for the Chinese, with the exception of the first quarter of 2020, when they enjoyed a more than 34% gain.
However, when we update these figures with available data up to 2021, and look at the figures year to year, we see a more stable and moderated change – still up and down somewhat, but staying within the 26-33% range, with the latest numbers showing a slight dip to just under 30% of global Smart Speaker sales.
Overall, from 2018 Q3 to 2021 Q3, Chinese vendors have seen an increase in the global Smart Speaker market share of only about 3.5%, again with a high at the end of 2018 and with small but steady declines since.
Smart Speaker Global Sales – Chinese Manufacturers
For that same 2018 Q3 to 2020 Q3 time period seen above, Chinese vendors have shown strong growth from quarter to quarter with few exceptions.
A strong decline in global Smart Speaker sales was noticed by the big three Chinese companies in the first quarter of 2020, however, Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi showed losses of between 30% to 53%. This was consistent with other global manufacturers, though, and not specific to the Chinese vendors.
Looking at updated statistics, with available numbers up to the third quarter of last year (2021), we can see that the big three Chinese vendors show the same kind of up-and-down performance that we saw in market share. Baidu has shown the most consistent increases and has emerged – for now, at least – as the clear leader among these three Chinese companies in global Smart Speaker sales.
Projection: Most analysts agree that Chinese manufacturers and vendors of Smart Speakers will see increases in sales and global market share in the next few years, although projected numbers vary substantially. These increases will likely be down to the Chinese’ low production costs, increasing savvy in international sales and marketing, and efforts to better understand and meet the needs of both Chinese and global consumers, as well as a dramatic increase in Chinese home-market sales.
Global Sales And Projections (Excluding China) 2016 To 2025
Globally, Smart Speakers represent a major and exciting growth market.
In the last several years, worldwide sales of Smart Speakers have increased every year by almost or over 40%, and while total sales figures for the last two years are not available, we should see final figures in excess of 100 million units sold in 2020 and perhaps over 130 million in 2021 – remarkable growth, especially considering the impact recent world events have had recently on the economy, manufacturing, supply chains, and consumer confidence.
By 2025 total sales could be three times 2020 figures, with this source predicting global sales of Smart Speakers to be almost 300 million units, and other sources quoting even higher figures.
Smart Speaker Demographics
Who is buying Smart Speakers?
Global Market Share by Platform (Excluding China)
This next data set could well belong in either this Smart Speakers Demographics section or in the previous Smart Speaker Sales Statistics section.
We include it here because it gives us a good snapshot of what Smart Speakers we are buying now, and will buy in the future – particularly among the three most recognizable brands.
Among non-Chinese brands, in 2018 Amazon Echo had by far the lion’s share of the Smart Speaker market, with over 61%. Google Home was second, with 24%, and Apple HomePod had a surprisingly small market share, at less than 5%.
Other Smart Speaker platforms enjoyed, in total, less than 10% of the global market share – this would include such brands as the relatively new Harman Kardon Invoke, designed for use with the Microsoft Cortana platform.
Projection: It is interesting to note that the above chart shows Google Home products clearly overtaking Amazon Echo by 2025. All of the data and projections from many major marketing research and analysis firms seem to support this same conclusion, with some saying Google could be the leader as soon as this year (2023).
Smart Speaker Ownership By Country 2017-2021
The distribution of Smart Speaker sales by country has changed dramatically in the last several years.
In 2017, the United States was by far the largest consumer of Smart Speakers, accounting for 73% of overall sales. The United Kingdom and Germany took second and third places, with 10 and 8% respectively.
China and Canada rounded up the top five, with only 3% and 2% of global sales, and all other countries represented 4%.
By 2019 the United States, while actually purchasing more Smart Speakers, accounted for a smaller percentage of global Smart Speaker sales, down to 42%. In the same time frame, China’s numbers rose dramatically, and they now account for 28% of global Smart Speaker sales – a well over 800% increase!
Japan and South Korea also showed strong increases in sales, but as of 2019 still only accounted for 3% and 1% of global sales respectively. The percentage of global sales for the rest of the world (even with losing Japan and Korea’s numbers) increased from 2017 to 2019 by 300%.
While more updated figures are difficult to obtain, it is clear that China is becoming the world’s number one consumer of Smart Speakers, with total sales estimated to exceed 42 million units in 2021, according to China Daily. In fact, Canalys has even more dramatic numbers, their 2020 forecast expecting China to purchase over half the world’s shipped units of Smart Speakers and Smart Displays in 2021.
Smart Speaker Household Penetration By Country (Excluding China) 2016-2022
The data in the above chart, which focuses on the United States and the European Union, shows that a much higher percentage of Americans have Smart Speakers in their homes than do consumers from the other represented countries.
Already in 2016 6.6% of Americans had Smart Speakers in their homes, and household penetration in the US increased markedly each year, reaching over 37% by 2019.
Of European countries, the United Kingdom has the highest household penetration, and in 2019 more than 21% of UK, homes had Smart Speakers.
In the same year, 11.8%, 9.6%, and 7.4% of German, Irish and French homes respectively had Smart Speakers. All of these figures showed strong increases over this four-year span.
Sources: Forrester (US data); Voicebot
More recent numbers, updated for 2023, show market penetration in the UK actually surpassing the United States in 2021 – the United States had far higher sales in this period, but the percentage of adults having at least one installed Smart Speaker in their homes was higher in the United Kingdom.
That said, all data sources confirm that the adoption rate in the United States, which is still the leading purchaser of Smart Speakers, continues to rise, although showing a slowdown in the years 2020 and 2023.
Projection: Two years ago, we forecasted that by 2023 more than two thirds of US households would have at least one Smart Speaker. Now, as we update our report with the newest data available, we see that Smart Speakers will likely be in around 95 million American homes this year, which is approximately 73% of the 129.93 households in the country.
The United States Smart Speaker Demographics 2023
According to Edison Research, in 2023 at least 35% of Americans 12 years or older now own a Smart Speaker. This reflects only a 2% increase from 2021, which showed a 6% increase from 2020.
Since 2017, according to these numbers, the overall increase has been 28% of the market base, from 7% to the current 35.
An older (2019) market survey by Pew Research Group reveals some interesting demographics around Smart Speaker ownership and usage in the United States.
By gender, there is a striking parity between men and women. 25% of men report having at least one Smart Speaker, while 24% of women report the same.
Among the three largest ethnic groups, 25% of white Americans own Smart Speakers, 19% of black Americans, and 26% of Hispanic Americans.
By age group, Americans between 18 and 29 have far more Smart Speakers by percentage than other groups, with 32% reporting ownership. Among the 30-49-year-old age group, 28% say they have at least one Smart Speaker, and the two older groups – 50-64 and 65+ – both have ownership rates of 19%.
As might be expected, Smart Speaker ownership rises as does income. People making 30,000 dollars or less have an ownership rate of only 15%, while for the middle-income bracket (30,000 to 70,000) it is 24% and 34% for those making more than 70,000 a year.
As education increases, Smart Speaker ownership also shows a similar increase. 19% of those who have had a high school education or less own Smart Speakers, while for those with some college the percentage is 27, and 30% for college graduates or above.
The final category in Pew’s demographic breakdown of Smart Speakers in America deals with where people live and their corresponding Smart Speaker ownership, with rural Americans having the lowest percentage of ownership, city dwellers in the middle, and suburban Americans having the highest rate of ownership, at 29%.
Number Of Smart Speakers Owned In The United States – 2020
A 2020 study revealed that 45% of Americans already own at least one Smart Speaker.
Of those, 59% only have 1 Smart Speaker, 30% have 2, around 9% own 3, 2% own 4, and 1% of Americans own 5 or more Smart Speakers.
Smart Speaker Usage Statistics
What are we using Smart Speakers for?
Smart Speaker Usage Globally by Task
In a global survey, the single most frequent use for Smart Speakers was to check the news and/or weather, with almost 93% of respondents saying they had done this.
A similar percentage had asked their Smart Speaker a question, and well over 80% had used their Smart Speakers to discover and play music.
Over 50% had used Smart Speakers to call somebody or send a message. After that, usage by each of the remaining tasks drops to below half.
Around 47% of respondents had used their Smart Speakers to discover and play videos, 28% to control Smart devices, and a similar number to shop. Slightly over 8% of survey respondents said they had never done any of these things.
Smart Speaker Usage In The United States By Task
A 2021 survey by Voicebot shows that most Americans use their Smart Speakers for listening to streaming music, with asking questions, checking the weather, and setting timers and alarms rounded out the top five uses.
Interestingly, other uses we might expect to be somewhat more common, like controlling smart appliances and the Internet of Things and listening to podcasts, are lower on the list – 10th and 11th respectively. Similarly, making phone calls is 13th and making a purchase using a Smart Speaker is all the way at the bottom of the survey list, at number 18.
In a 2019 United States survey of over 1,000 people, it was also found that more Americans – 70% – use their Smart Speakers to discover and play music than any other task.
Over 50% of Americans used Smart Speakers for weather forecasts and asking fun questions, while online searches, checking the news, and making phone calls rounded out the top five most popular uses for Smart Speakers in the US.
The two least executed tasks for Americans and their Smart Speakers were shopping and ordering food, with only 30% and 17% of respondents having done these things.
This survey also revealed that 76% of people used their voice assistants more in the last year. 71% report using them at least once a day, and 44% several times a day.
Smart Speaker Usage Among Children (Under 18) In The United States By Task
As with adults, American children use Smart Speakers to discover and play music more than for anything else, at over 55%.
The second and third most popular uses of Smart Speakers among American kids were to answer a question or to tell a joke, at 44% and 40% respectively.
Playing games, getting help with homework, and setting an alarm was also popular, the first being done by 28% of children and the other two at 25%.
Less popular were controlling smart devices, communicating with others, being read to, and playing podcasts, with between 14% and 5% of kids reporting these usages.
Smart Assistant Usage In The United States – 2019
A more general 2019 study of the usage of voice assistants in the United States showed that 72% of Americans had used a voice assistant at some point.
Of those, 35% had done a voice search through a Smart Speaker and 52% had given a voice command to a Smart Speaker.
36% of Americans had given a voice command through a different type of smart device, while 31% had given a voice command in a vehicle.
Voice Assistants By Usage In The United States – 2023
The same study also revealed statistics about which voice assistants Americans are using – statistics that don’t always correspond with the popularity of Smart Speaker platforms.
Specifically, while Apple was only the sixth most popular platform for Smart Speakers at the time of this survey, after Amazon, Google, and the three largest Chinese brands, Apple’s Siri was tied for first place with Google Assistant, both realizing 36% of American usage.
Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana are shown as the third and fourth most popular voice assistants, with 25% and 19% usage.
A 2023 survey of Americans, conducted by National Public Media, found that 35% of respondents have used a Smart Speaker for voice commands, up from 27% two years earlier (2020). And while smartphones are still the most widely used devices for voice commands and personal assistant interaction, the same survey shows that Smart Speakers are now number two for this type of use.
Interesting Facts about Smart Speakers
- In 2023, 62% of American adults use voice technology – with smartphones and Smart Speakers being the two most popular devices for this usage – and 58% use voice commands daily. (Source: National Public Media)
- The same 2023 survey shows that half of the people who own Smart Speakers have heard an ad on them at some point. Of those, slightly more than half (53%) said they are likely to respond to the advertisement, and 48% are more likely to consider the brand advertised when compared to hearing the ad elsewhere. (Source: National Public Media)
- Around 14% of Americans who own Smart Speakers are “very concerned” about how much personal data their Smart Speakers collect, while 40% are “somewhat concerned,” 36% are “not too” and 10% are “not at all concerned.”
- The same study showed that around 18% of Americans who own Smart Speakers feel it is “very important” that their Smart Speakers consider their owners’ preferences and habits when responding to commands or questions. 38% thought it was “somewhat important,” 31% “not too” and 12% “not at all.” (Source: Pew Research)
- While around half of Americans feel it is unacceptable for Smart Speaker manufacturers to share recordings of their customers in order to help criminal investigations, about the same percentage think it is OK to do so if it helps prevent terrorism. (Source: Center)
- More than half of American Smart Speaker users try to be polite when speaking to their devices, although this tends to be more true with women than men. (Source: Pew Research)
- Most people purchase a particular Smart Speaker brand based on recommendations from friends or family, while almost 24% make these purchase decisions based on a recommendation from a Smart Speaker. (Source: Statista)
- People are surprised to learn that Apple and Siri are such a small slice of the Smart Speaker pie, but Apple’s HomePod was only released in February of 2018. (Source: Apple)
- 38% of survey respondents find those voice ads, which are becoming more and more popular through Smart Speakers, more engaging and less intrusive than the internet, print, and television ads, and yet only 25% of respondents report having ever even heard such an ad! (Source: Adobe)