What you need to know
- Amazon's Echo speakers dominated the market with a 69.7% share in 2019.
- Coming in at a distant second was Google's Assistant-enabled speakers, with 31.1% of the market.
- eMarketer expects the smart speaker market to continue to grow but slow down as voice assistants make their way to other devices such as vehicles and appliances.
In 2019, Amazon continued to dominate smart speakers, with its Echo devices being the most popular choice. A recent report out of eMarketer shows that in 2019, 69.7% of smart speaker users in the U.S. used an Echo device. While that is a considerable margin and a big win for Amazon, it's important to note that it is down slightly from its 72.9% market share in 2018.
Chipping away at Amazon's dominant position is Google and its lineup of Assistant-enabled speakers. In 2018, Google had a 30.4% share, which grew to 31.1% in 2019. EMarketer projects this trend will continue with Amazon dropping down to 68.2% by 2021 and Google rising to 32%.
Outside of Amazon and Google, eMarketer also shows that 17.9% of consumers chose a smart speaker from other brands, such as "Apple HomePod, Harmon Kardon Invoke and Sonos One." If you noticed these percentages add up to more than 100%, that's because some smart speaker owners use multiple platforms. For example, I would fall into this category, using both Alexa and Assistant enabled speakers in my home.
Speaking on the results, Victoria Petrock, a principal analyst at eMarketer, remarked how they expected Google and Apple would have made more progress by now.
We had previously expected Google and Apple to make more inroads in this market, but Amazon has remained aggressive. By offering affordable devices and building out the number of Alexa skills, the company has maintained Echo's appeal.
In the future, the smart speaker market is expected to continuing growing, although at a slower pace as voice assistants begin to migrate into other products such as, vehicles, appliances, accessories, and more.
Over time, we'll see slowing growth in the number of smart speakers as people turn to voice assistants built into other things within homes, vehicles and on-the-go. Amazon's next challenge will be to maintain its dominance in these other environments as well.
If Amazon's 2019 hardware event is anything to go by, it is already hard at work trying to stay ahead of the curve. At last year's event, it showed off an Alexa-enabled ring, glasses, and headphones, among other products.
In 2020, eMarketer estimates the smart speaker market will grow 13.7% to 83.1 million users, but then growth will slip into the single digits in 2021. Finally, its stats show that currently, around 28.9% of internet users have smart speakers, and it expects that number to rise to 30.5% next year.
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