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Report: Google way behind in American smart speaker user base at 18.4%

If you're on Team Google when it comes to smart speakers, a new report unfortunately concludes that Amazon is way ahead of the game.

Published onMarch 7, 2018

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  • A survey of over 1,000 Americans concluded smart speaker ownership is at about 1 in 5, an astounding feat for a three-year-old market.
  • Among other data the report reveals, Amazon is clearly leading the market with 71.9 percent market share to Google’s 18.4 percent.
  • The survey also has some interesting revelations about people who don’t own smart speakers, notably that 50 percent of them plan to buy one this year.

It’s incredible to think how quickly the smart speaker market has exploded. When you remember that Amazon Echo first went on sale in June 2015, it illuminates just how fast-paced the smart home market has become.

According to a new survey of over 1,000 Americans released by Voicebot, in collaboration with PullString and RAIN, the amount of American adults who own at least one smart speaker is 19.7 percent. If you extrapolate that number to the U.S. population, it means there are about 47 million smart speaker owners in the country. Not bad for a basically three-year-old market.

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The 29-page report is filled with juicy tidbits about smart speaker ownership, which is interesting because both Google and Amazon, the two major players in the smart speaker game, are very secretive about their sales numbers.

In what must be some sobering news for Google, according to this Voicebot report, only 18.4 percent of American smart speaker owners have a Google Home product. A whopping 71.9 percent have an Amazon Echo product. It’s true that Amazon blazed the trail in smart speakers, one would think that Google would have attained a much higher market share than that by now.

Only 18.4% of American smart speaker owners have a Google Home product, while a whopping 71.9% have an Amazon Echo product.

The report breaks things down which devices people own even further, too:

It’s not all bad news for Google. The report concludes that 50 percent of consumers who currently don’t own a smart speaker plan to buy one in 2018. That’s a tremendous opportunity to close the gap.

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The report also says only 42.7 percent of Android users have ever tried to use Google Assistant on their smartphones, while a whopping 76.7 percent of iPhone users have tried Siri. This may seem like bad news, but it illuminates another advantage Google has over Amazon. Alexa does not come pre-installed on the vast majority of smartphones, which gives Google the upper hand with that 50 percent of consumers looking to buy a smart speaker.

50% of consumers who currently don’t own a smart speaker plan to buy one in 2018.

The report states the overwhelming majority of smart speaker owners only own one speaker. Only about 34.3 percent of smart speaker owners own more than one speaker, and only a paltry 7 percent own four or more.

Voicebot also asked consumers who don’t own a smart speaker why they don’t own one. 37.9 percent of people just weren’t interested, but the two other most significant reasons were smartphones already having the functionality they need and privacy concerns:

Finally, in a hilarious and maybe concerning revelation, consumers are equally as likely to have a smart speaker in the garage as they are in the bathroom — seriously. About 6 percent of respondents in the survey said they have smart speakers in a bathroom of their home, which is just disturbing.

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