New report shows that only 18% of adults in the U.S. own a smart speaker

New report shows that only 18% of adults in the U.S. own a smart speaker
If you've been wondering why so many tech companies are producing smart speakers, just take a look at this stat; according to NPR and Edison Research's Smart Audio Report, only 18% of Americans 18 and older own a smart speaker. That works out to 43 million smart speaker owners in the U.S., and gives manufacturers a large number of potential buyers to aim for. The report adds that smart speaker ownership is pretty balanced among age groups, but those 45-54 own a leading 24% of these devices in the states. Surprisingly, those 55 and older are next with 22%. 

Most smart speaker owners are jumping on the bandwagon as 74% of them have owned one for less than a year. NPR calls them "Early Mainstream" owners. The 26% who have owned their smart speaker for over a year are "First Adopters." Of the latter group, a third are 55 and older, which would seem to indicate that older consumers were first to see the potential in the product. As more features and capabilities are added to these devices, the more they are used. 48% of First Adopters and 54% of the Early Mainstream are using their smart speaker more now than when they first purchased the product.

First Adopters now rely on smart speakers to be their number one device for listening to audio. For example, nearly 90% of both groups use their smart speaker to stream music. Other top activities include using the digital assistant to check the weather, answer a question, set an alarm or timer, and check the time. Only 35%-37% checked a sports score and 30%-37% used the assistant to turn on or off smart appliances.

While you might think that most smart speaker users employ the device as a smartphone replacement, most consider it a substitute for an AM/FM radio. Smartphones were second on the list with a computer third and a tablet fourth.


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16 Comments

1. DolmioMan

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 08, 2018

“Only” that’s still ~40m smart speakers which is a huge amount.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 6655; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Plus the fact that these smart speakers allow you to use existing speakers via Bluetooth or Chromecast audio. So you can just spend $25-$50 for the inexpensive smart speakers, and still get great audio at a fraction of the cost of some others.

14. PapaJi

Posts: 60; Member since: May 15, 2016

Most of them are waiting for Samsung BIXBY smart speaker.... the number will drastically increase one's it is in market.

2. md227a

Posts: 221; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Guess I'm part of that 18%

3. torr310

Posts: 1609; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Not necessary.... keep life simple.

11. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Nessessary for espionage.

5. PURPLEnurples

Posts: 8; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

I hate to be the paranoid type, but I dont like the always listening stuff. Sure I have Google Assistent setup on my phone, but I at least want some level of privacy and "disconnect" in my home

6. JCASS889

Posts: 422; Member since: May 18, 2018

I agree, having a constant connected microphone is a little weary for me to want in my home

9. cmdacos

Posts: 3781; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

So your phone is off at home?

13. PURPLEnurples

Posts: 8; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

No, but I also don't have it on or near me the entire time I am home. I know it is hypocritical of me, but still lol.

15. JCASS889

Posts: 422; Member since: May 18, 2018

My phone may be on at home, but I don't allow apps besides phone and camera to have permission to use it, plus I keep my phone offline when I'm home

7. cmdacos

Posts: 3781; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

18% is pretty impressive

8. macawmatt

Posts: 133; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

Maybe I missed it in the slides, but the metric I want to see is also how many do they own? There are some crazies out there that have nine Homes in the house, not confirming anything though. ;-)

10. cmdacos

Posts: 3781; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I have 6. 9 may be my new goal now to catch up lol

12. emjoigently

Posts: 139; Member since: Aug 22, 2017

18% is actually alot of people. A Smart speaker is not an important, necessary purchase. It's at the Smartwatch level of importance. Some folk will use it, but no one needs it. Personally, talking to Google Assistant is something I do daily. It's easier to get things done that way than pecking at Calendar or Spotify sometimes .

16. tfpritchjrEMT

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 24, 2015

Do not want to own a Spy_In_The_House!

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