Report: Nearly 19 Million U.S. Households Now Use Smart Speakers



comScore’s latest research said smart speaker penetration increased 50 percent over the past year.


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Alexa, how many homes in the U.S. have smart speakers?

According to new comScore data, that number is 18.7 million, or about 20 percent of all households with Wi-Fi. While that statistic seems to indicate that smart speakers are not yet mainstream, it’s notable that this number has increased by 50 percent between Dec. 2017 and Feb. 2018.

So, what’s driving this growth? According to comScore, one key reason is lower price points. Smart speakers tend to over-index in high-income homes, but lower income households have continued to gain ground. The Google Home Mini retails for $49, which is the same price as the Echo Dot. During the holiday season, both of these were discounted at $29.

A variety of devices was another holiday season-tied factor with Amazon coming out with the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Look. Combine all of these factors and you have a perfect storm for peak adoption.

At the conclusion of the holiday season, Amazon’s Echo Dot was the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across Amazon. In addition, Amazon Alexa was within the top 5 apps downloaded over Christmas, more than likely due to the high level of sales of the speakers.

This increase in penetration could have big implications for e-commerce. Forbes reports that 22 percent of smart speaker owners shop by voice. Another study from comScore revealed that smart speakers and voice technology are fundamentally shaping the way owners choose the products they buy.

Beyond owning a single smart speaker, comScore also predicts a “smart home” revolution, which owners utilize multiple speakers throughout the household. Per comScore’s study, more than 10 percent of households with at least one smart speaker have three or more of these devices.

“With more households owning multiple smart speakers, the foundation has been laid for the continued expansion and adoption of the fully smart home–as the smart speaker is often the gateway device to enable a smart home,” comScore explains.

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