In the States, Amazon still dominates this market it created back in 2014

In the States, Amazon still dominates this market it created back in 2014
Back in 2014, Amazon created a new product category when it released the Echo smart speaker to Amazon Prime members. Featuring a speaker and a virtual digital assistant called Alexa, the Echo soon was offered to U.S. consumers regardless of whether they subscribed to Prime. Sales of the product took off.

The smart speaker can be used to play music, and listen to streaming content including podcasts. With Alexa, the user can find out the latest news, weather, stock prices, sports scores, and more. Users can also add skills to Alexa that allow the virtual assistant to play games, act as a burglar alarm, and handle many more additional tasks. Smart speakers don't require a wireless account and they can be as cheap as $40 or cost as much as a few thousand dollars. Some homes have multiple smart speakers with one in each room.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) studied the U.S. Smart Speaker market and found to no one's surprise that for the 12 months that ended in June 2023, Amazon continued to dominate the category with a 70% market share. Google's Home branded speakers were next with a 23% slice of the U.S. market, leaving seven percent for Apple and its HomePod line.

CIRP also found out that in the U.S., the number one activity that smart speaker owners use their devices for is to play music. 57% of Echo users say that they use their speakers to play a song at least once a day. 70% of HomePod users do the same thing while 54% of Google Home users listen to music daily on their Home smart speakers. 

Asking their digital assistants questions was the activity smart speaker users enjoyed doing the most after listening to music. This activity was done by 48% of Echo users, 53% of Home users, and a whopping 66% of HomePod users. Setting timers and alarms came next for Echo (41%) and Home users (42%) followed by using the device to control smart home devices (33% for Echo users and 39% for Home users).

Apple's HomePod had the last two activities reversed. 55% used their HomePod to control smart home products while 47% used the HomePod to set alarms and timers. 

As of June 2022, 35% of Americans 18 years old and up owned a smart speaker. That still leaves a large percentage of the population without one. But with most people using their smartphones to listen to music, ask questions, set alarms and timers, and control smart devices, the question is whether there really is a lot of untapped demand for the product.

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