The Brag Media
News May 30, 2018

Dispute over conflicting Q1 figures for smart-speaker shipments

Dispute over conflicting Q1 figures for smart-speaker shipments

Normally, main market-share figures are (mostly) agreed upon by main research firms.

Not so with the Q1 reports for smart-speakers, as various market research services claim conflicting data on shipping figures and resulting global market share.

This disagreement isn’t helped by the fact that the companies themselves don’t publish many figures.

Strategy Analytics – a US data and analysis market research service – have claimed that Amazon shipped 4 million Echo speakers, taking up a 43.6% global market share.

However, Canalys offered a conflicting claim, reporting Google’s shipment of 3.2 million speakers for Q1 clocked a 36.3% market share, besting Amazon who they report only shipped 2.5 million Echos for a vastly different 27.7% market share.

The numbers are yet to include the Apple HomePod, which went on sale in February and shifted 600,000 units, according to another report.

The growth of the Chinese market looks to be creeping up, with 1.8 million speakers sold in the region over Q1, with Canalys reporting the Alibaba shipped 1.1 million Tmall Genie devices in Q1, and Ziaomi shipping 600,000 of its Xiao AI devices.

This makes them respectively the third and fourth manufacturers globally.

China was the second biggest market for smart speakers in Q1 with 1.8 million shipments, behind the US’ 4.1 million and ahead of third-placed South Korea’s 730,000.

A total of nine million smart speakers were sold during the quarter, up from 2.9 million worldwide this time last year.

While Amazon, Google and Apple will continue to hog the smart-speaker headlines in the west – Canalys offers no figure for HomePod shipments by the way, although Strategy Analytics estimated 600k for Q1 – China should not be ignored. And note, Tencent, with its 700m+ monthly active music listeners, only got involved in the smart-speaker market properly in April with the launch of its Tingting device.

With rightsholders hoping China will see meaningful shifts from free to paid music-streaming in the future, it’s worth considering the role that these devices could play in that process, alongside other moves like putting more music behind paywalls for the Chinese streaming services.

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