Study: 18% of Americans now own a smart speaker, but is Australia’s take up quicker?
The latest research figures from NPR and Edison show that 18% of Americans aged over 18 – translating to 48 million people – now own a smart speaker.
That is a 2% rise from the last set of figures, which found 39 million had adopted the technology.
In comparison, Edison figures for Australia in May saw only 5% of the population of ownership.
But analysts argue that Australian’s take up has been quicker, given that smart speakers became available in the US in 2014, and only reached 7% ownership after three years.
Australia had access only in July 2017 with Google Home, and Amazon Echo in February 2018.
The American study was divided into “first adopters” and “early mainstream”.
The “first adopters”, who’ve had the device for over a year, make up 26% of the owners.
“Early mainstream” who owned them for less than a year, make up 74%.
The majority of users in both categories were women.
Most of the early adopters were aged over 55, while most of the early mainstream were aged between 45 to 54.
Requests for finding music were the highest: 90% of early adopters and 88% of early mainstream.
More than half said they would not go back to a time without smart speakers.
“Voice-activated tools have become part of our daily lives and are bringing dramatic changes to consumer behaviour,” said NPR CMO Meg Goldthwaite.
“As the research shows, smart speaker owners are turning off their TVs and closing down their laptops to spend more time listening to news, music, podcasts and books — fuelling the demand for more audio content.”
“In homes that have had smart speakers for at least a year, they are now the number one device for consuming audio,” added Tom Webster, senior VP of Edison Research.
“This has profound ramifications for anyone in media and advertising.
For millions of Americans, smart speakers are truly the new radio.”
Another US study, published in late May, by eMarketer, estimated that the number of smart speaker users is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 47.9%.
That’s the fastest tech product since the smartphone and will result in more smart speaker users than wearable tech users this year.
In the U.S. alone, that number will be over 90 million.
It says two-thirds of smart speaker users in the U.S. this year will use an Amazon Echo, and that it will expand its lead by 2020.