There are very few products on 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, there is very little real data about Smart Speakers 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 Smart Speaker market seems impossible – at least, that is, without having to pay literally thousands of dollars for a professionally compiled Smart Speaker 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.
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 2020, Smart Speaker demographic data in 2020 and Smart Speaker usage data in 2020 we can offer a valuable source of information which, until now, has been sorely needed.
Please note that in places we will include the same Smart Speaker statistics from two different sources, and the numbers may be slightly different. We include both 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 data sets exclude China, as it is much more difficult to obtain reliable sales and demographic figures from there – though this seems to be changing.
On the other end of the spectrum, by far the most strongly represented country in our Smart Speaker statistical analysis is the United States, which is not only the biggest consumer of Smart Speakers globally but also has the most published data about Smart Speaker sales, markets and usage.
Please enjoy our Complete Smart Speakers Statistical Analysis for 2020/2021. We hope you find it both interesting and helpful!
Smart Speaker Sales Statistics for 2020/2021
What companies are selling the most Smart Speakers?
Global Smart Speaker Sales by Vendor
As of the most recent data, Amazon sells more Smart Speakers than any other vendor worldwide – 15.8 million units in the last quarter of 2019 alone. This is an increase of over 15 percent from the same period in the previous year.
Google comes in second, with sales of 13.9 million Smart Speakers in Q4 2019, an increase of almost 21 percent from Q4 2018.
The three major Chinese Smart Speaker vendors – Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi, round out the top five, with Apple also showing statistically significant sales with 2.6 million units.
Projection: Smart Speaker sales are growing at a remarkable rate, and as one example Amazon Smart Speakers are projected to sell in excess of 130 million units by 2025.Speakergy.com experts
Global Smart Speaker Market Share by Vendor
In the analysis of Smart Speaker market share worldwide for 2019, things look very similar. Amazon is still the leader, with over 28 percent of the market. Google is second, with almost 25 percent.
The Chinese vendors have the third, fourth and fifth spots in global market share for 2019, and Apple is sixth, with just under 5 percent.
Even though both Google and Amazon enjoyed clear growth in units sold between 2018 and 2019, both companies actually suffered losses in global market share, while the 3 major Chinese vendors showed substantial growth.
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.Speakergy.com
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 two years.
Chinese vendors’ market share in the global Smart Speaker market showed the strongest growth in the 4th quarter of 2018, with a remarkable 138+ percent 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 percent gain.
Overall, from 2018 Q3 to 2020 Q1, Chinese vendors have seen an increase in global Smart Speaker market share of 13 points, from 26 percent to 39 percent.
Smart Speaker Global Sales – Chinese Manufacturers
For the same time periods – 2018 Q3 to 2020 Q1 – 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, with Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi showing losses of between 30 to 53 percent.
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.Speakergy.com
Global Sales and Projections (excluding China) 2016 to 2025
Globally, Smart Speakers represent a major and exciting growth market.
In the last three years, worldwide sales of Smart Speakers have increased every year by almost or over 40 percent, and in 2020 there should be sales of over 100 million units – again, excluding Chinese vendors.
By 2025 total sales could be three times that, 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 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 had by far the lion’s share of the Smart Speaker market, with over 61 percent. Google Home was second, with 24 percent, and Apple had a surprisingly small market share, at less than 5 percent.
Other Smart Speaker platforms enjoyed, in total, less than 10 percent of global market share – this would include such brands as the relatively new Harmon Kardon Invoke, designed for use with the Microsoft Cortana platform.
Smart Speaker Ownership by Country
The distribution of Smart Speaker sales by country has changed dramatically in the last three or so years.
In 2017, the United States was by far the largest consumer of Smart Speakers, accounting for 73 percent of overall sales.
The United Kingdom and Germany took second and third places, with 10 and 8 percent respectively.
China and Canada rounded up the top five, with only 3 and 2 percent of global sales, and all other countries represented 4 percent.
By 2019 the United States, while actually purchasing more Smart Speakers, accounted for a smaller percentage of global Smart Speaker sales, down to 42 percent.
In the same time frame, China’s numbers rose dramatically, and they now account for 28 percent of global Smart Speaker sales – a well over 800 percent increase.
Japan and South Korea also showed strong increases in sales, but as of 2019 still only accounted for 3 and 1 percent of global sales. 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 percent.
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 percent of Americans had Smart Speakers in their homes, and household penetration in the US increased markedly each year, reaching over 37 percent by 2019.
Of European countries, the United Kingdom has the highest household penetration, and in 2019 more than 21 percent of UK homes had Smart Speakers.
In the same year, 11.8, 9.6 and 7.4 percent 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
Projection: Within only two years, in 2022, it is estimated that more than two thirds of US households will have at least one Smart Speaker.Speakergy.com
United States Smart Speaker Demographics 2020
According to Pew Research Group, by 2020 fully one quarter of Americans will own Smart Speakers.
By gender, there is a striking parity between men and women. 25 percent of men report having at least one Smart Speakers, while 24 percent of Women report the same.
Among the three largest ethnic groups, 25 percent of white Americans own Smart Speakers, 19 percent of black Americans and 26 percent of Hispanic Americans.
By age group, Americans between 18 and 29 have by far more Smart Speakers by percentage than other groups, with 32 percent reporting ownership. Among the 30-49 year old age group, 28 percent say they have at least one Smart Speaker, and the two older groups – 50-64 and 65+ – both have ownership rates of 19 percent.
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 percent, while for the middle income bracket (30,000 to 70,000) it is 24 percent, and 34 percent for those making more than 70,000 a year.
As education increases, Smart Speaker ownership also shows a similar increase. 19 percent 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 percent 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 percent.
Number of Smart Speakers Owned in the United States – 2019
A 2019 study revealed that 45 percent of Americans already own at least one Smart Speaker.
Of those, 59 percent only have 1 Smart Speaker, 30 percent have 2, around 9 percent own 3, 2 percent own 4 and 1 percent 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 percent of respondents saying they had done this.
A similar percentage had asked their Smart Speaker a question, and well over 80 percent had used their Smart Speakers to discover and play music.
Over 50 percent 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 percent of respondents had used their Smart speakers to discover and play videos, 28 percent to control Smart devices and a similar number to shop. Slightly over 8 percent of survey respondents said they had never done any of these things.
Smart Speaker Usage in the United States by Task
In a 2019 United States survey of over 1,000 people, it was found that more Americans – 70 percent – use their Smart Speakers to discover and play music than any other task.
Over 50 percent 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 percent and 17 percent of respondents having done these things.
This survey also revealed that 76 percent of people used their voice assistants more in the last year. 71 percent report using them at least once a day, and 44 percent 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 percent.
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 percent respectively.
Playing games, getting help with homework and setting an alarm were also popular, the first being done by 28 percent of children and the other two at 25 percent.
Less popular were controlling smart devices, communications with others, being read to and playing podcasts, with between 14 percent and 5 percent 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 percent of Americans had used a voice assistant at some point.
Of those, 35 percent had done a voice search through a Smart Speaker and 52 percent had given a voice command to a Smart Speaker.
36 percent of Americans had given a voice command through a different type of smart device, while 31 percent had given a voice command in a vehicle.
Voice Assistants by Usage in the United States – 2019
The same study also revealed statistics about which voice assistants Americans are using – statistics which don’t always correspond with the popularity of Smart Speaker platforms.
Specifically, while Apple is only the sixth most popular platform for Smart Speakers, after Amazon, Google and the three largest Chinese brands, Apple’s Siri is tied for first place with Google Assistant, both realizing 36 percent of American usage.
Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana are the third and fourth most popular voice assistants, with 25 percent and 19 percent usage.
Interesting Facts about Smart Speakers
- Around 14 percent of Americans who own Smart Speakers are “very concerned” about how much personal data their Smart Speakers collect, while 40 percent are “somewhat concerned,” 36 percent “not too” and 10 percent are “not at all concerned.”
- The same study showed that around 18 percent 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 percent thought it was “somewhat important,” 31 percent “not too” and 12 percent “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 percent make these purchase decisions based on a recommendation from a Smart Speaker. (Source: Statista)
- People are surprised to learn that Apple and Siri such a small slice of the Smart Speaker pie, but Apple’s HomePod was only released in February of 2018. (Source: Apple)
- 38 percent of survey respondents find that voice ads, which are becoming more and more popular through Smart Speakers, more engaging and less intrusive than internet, print and television ads, and yet only 25 percent of respondents report having ever even hearing such an ad! (Source: Adobe)