(Last Updated On: January 28, 2020)

In December 2019, Americans have 157 million smart speakers as compared to the 119 million a year ago.

A screenshot from the Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 showing the upward trend of the instalment of smart speakers in US households.
A screenshot from the Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 showing the upward trend of the installment of smart speakers in US households.

The latest annual joint report of the National Public Radio and the Edison Research on the use of smart speakers showed continued growth in the installment of the said device in American households, signifying the growing importance of the technology in one’s daily life.

The Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 said 157 million smart speakers were owned in December 2019, up 32% from the 119 owned in December 2018.

The study surveyed 1,002 individuals in the US aged 18 and older. The survey was conducted after the holiday season, specifically from Dec. 31, 2019 to Jan. 5, 2020.

The figure was computed based on the number of smart speaker owners and the number of speakers these owners own.

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Charcoal
Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa – Charcoal

Heightened Awareness Pushes Up Smart Speaker Ownership

The report estimated that, by December 2019, 24% of US adults or 60 million people owned one or more smart speakers. This marks a 21% hike from the 53 million smart speaker owners in the same month in 2018.

An estimated 84% were now aware of the device, as compared to the 77% in the prior year.

The report cites the continuously increasing awareness of the product category as a factor to the higher sales. An estimated 84% were now aware of the device, as compared to 77% in the prior year.

A screenshot from the Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 showing the increased awareness of smart speakers and their benefits.
A screenshot from the Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 showing the increased awareness of smart speakers and their benefits.

A Shift in Behavior

The report also includes data from a separate survey of 4,000 users aged 13 and older, primarily with the aim to determine the different types of audio usage for smart speakers, as well as the frequency of this use.

This shows that smart speakers have emerged as a booming market as consumers’ usage of the device has broadened from the traditional use of accessing music streaming services to controlling smart-home gadgets and requesting basic information on any subject-matter, among other uses.

In five years, the time spent listening to music decreased 5% while spoken word content such as podcasts, news, talk radio, and audiobooks, climbed 20%. This shows a shift in the type of audio content that users listen to.

A screenshot from the Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 showing the difference of smart speaker usage among Americans over the past five years.
A screenshot from the Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 showing the difference in smart speaker usage among Americans over the past five years.

This shows that smart speakers have emerged as a booming market as consumers’ usage of the device has broadened from the traditional use of accessing music streaming services to controlling smart-home gadgets and requesting basic information on any subject-matter, among other uses.

Heavy Use Daily

…consumers have increased the instalment of the device throughout their homes for greater access to virtual assistants…

Americans now own an average of 2.6 smart speakers per household, as consumers have increased the installment of the device throughout their homes for greater access to virtual assistants like Alexa of Amazon. The giant tech firm remains to dominate the smart speaker market with versatile solutions in addressing consumer needs.

About 60% of respondents said they use their smart speakers nearly every day or several times a day, showing robust engagement of the technology in everyday use.