Not since the smartphone has any tech device been adopted as quickly as the smart speaker. According to our latest forecast, the number of US smart speaker users will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.9% between 2016 and 2020, from 16.0 million to 76.5 million.
We have raised our forecast significantly for US smart speaker users from 2017 through 2020, based on new data that shows stronger-than-expected adoption of the device. Uptake has been so strong that the number of adult smart speaker users will surpass that of wearable users for the first time this year.
The average smart speaker user profile is still that of an early tech-adopter: an affluent, older millennial male. But the gap is narrowing quickly as the device gains traction among other demographic groups, particularly younger Gen X women with children.
While Amazon’s Echo—with its integrated voice assistant, Alexa—is the most popular smart speaker in the US, it is losing share as speaker rivalry heats up. Google Home is second, and its launch of a lower-cost model in late 2017 will help it gain share from Amazon. Meanwhile, Apple’s HomePod has yet to make a dent in the market, mainly because of its high price tag.
Though smart speakers will drive most of the growth in the US voice assistant market through 2020, they are hardly the only device with voice command capabilities. Consumers are still most likely to use voice assistants on smartphones, but the technology is being integrated into other smart-home devices ranging from mirrors to lights and alarm systems.
Overall, we expect 91.0 million people, or 27.6% of the US population, to use a voice assistant via any device at least once per month in 2018.
For more information on the demographics of users and what they are using smart speakers for, read eMarketer’s report, “Hey Alexa, Who’s Using Smart Speakers."