Smart speakers are big and getting bigger

Analysis by the research firm Canalys recently offered up some predictions about where the smart speaker market is going.

As of now, something like 320 million units are in use globally. Next year will see an increase of 21% and by 2024, 640 million will be installed.

Google and Amazon’s Alexa devices lead the way outside of China (which is a smart speaker behemoth of its own), although the market keeps expanding with devices, mainly from those two big players. We’ll see if people jump on board with Apple’s HomePod Mini, which sells for less than US$100. (Given that you can get a Google Assistant or Alexa device for less than half that, we’ll see.)

All this is a very, very big deal with the music industry, especially in the age of COVID-19. With so many people staying home, more and and more of them are turning to smart speakers for entertainment, including streaming music. What will be the unexpected long-term effects of that? We’ll see.

Alan Cross

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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