Consumers in the market for a smart speaker have more options than ever, and Amazon will lose some of its majority share as a result. We forecast that Amazon Echo will drop below two-thirds of US smart speaker users for the first time.
Amazon Echo will capture 63.3% of smart speaker users in 2019, while Google Home will account for 31.0%. Smaller players, such as Sonos One and Apple HomePod, will take 12.0%. Amazon’s share will shrink through 2020, while those of its rivals will grow. (Note, there is overlap among the brands, as some people use more than one device.)
“Google has the Home Mini and Home Hub to compete with Amazon’s Echo Dot and Echo Show, and both the Apple HomePod and Facebook Portal will experience their first holiday season this year,” said forecasting analyst Jaimie Chung.
“Amazon has remained relevant by plugging Alexa into premium speakers like the Sonos, but even Sonos plans to bring Google Assistant to its devices next year, keeping the two companies neck and neck in the voice assistant race,” she added.
Next year, 74.2 million people in the US will use a smart speaker, up 15.0% over 2018. By the end of 2019, more than one-quarter (26.8%) of US adults will use one at least once per month.
Despite the growing capabilities of smart speakers, people still tend to use them for basic functions: listening to music or podcasts, catching up on the news, getting weather and traffic updates and asking general questions.
Only a small number of people are using speakers for shopping. Voice commerce in 2018 will reach $2.10 billion, just 0.4% of US ecommerce sales. In fact, eMarketer has lowered its projections for smart speaker buyers and shoppers since its Q2 forecast. While more than one-quarter of users (27.0%) will actually make a purchase using a smart speaker next year, it falls below the nearly 31% previously projected.
“We still don’t see a lot of people shopping and buying with smart speakers yet, but this may change if more lower-cost models begin to incorporate screens,” said eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock. “We’re also likely to see people doing more things with their voice assistants as they find their way into cars and other home-based devices.”