Published on July 11th, 2018 | by Alan Cross


Have you got a smart speaker yet? According to this survey, chances are you will soon

There are a ridiculous number of smart speakers in my house: a Google Max, a Google Home, two Google Minis, one Amazon Echo and an Echo Dot. Crazy, I know, but part of what I do is check out new technologies. And I’ll be honest: it’s pretty cool to ask Alexa to play something on my Sonos system and have it respond with an on-the-fly playlist based on my preferences.

If you don’t have a smart speaker yet, it’s probably just a matter of time, especially if you have kids. I have friends whose children are already super-comfortable just asking Google or Alexa for something about…well, anything. This, after all, is the generation that’s growing up with tablets and smartphones and always-on 24/7 Borg-like connectivity.

According to a research company called Canalys, more than 100 million smart speakers will be in use by the end of the year, which means 2.5 x more than were installed at the end of 2017. By 2020, the number will be closer to 225 million.

At the moment, Amazon Echo devices are in the lead with a market penetration of just over 50% while Google gear is in second with 30%. Apple’s much-delayed HomePod is in the rear with just 4%,

When we break things down by country, 73% of all smart speakers are in the US–no surprise there, given (a) the population base; and (b) Amazon launched there first. The UK is in second spot (10%) followed by Germany (8%), China (3%) and Canada (2%). The biggest growth territories are seen to be China and Japan.

More information here.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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