5 Things to Know About Smart Speaker Owners

December 28, 2017

Smart Speaker adoption reached almost 1 in 8 US Wi-Fi households (12.1%) in November, up from 11% in October and a 49% increase since June (8.1%), reports comScore in a new presentation [download page]. What’s more, one-quarter of Smart Speaker homes had multiple such devices in October, up from one-fifth in June.

The following lists out five interesting findings from comScore’s presentation.

1. Smart Speakers Proving Popular With Middle-Aged, Higher-Income Households

The report breaks down some of the demographic characteristics of Smart Speaker households.

Based on a snapshot of penetration during October, comScore reveals that Smart Speakers are more prevalent in households that have at least one member in the 35-44 (index: 122) or 45-49 (index: 111) bracket. Those index values are in comparison to the Wi-Fi household average (100).

Smart Speakers are also proving popular with higher-income households: Smart Speaker households are 81% more likely than the average Wi-Fi household to have at least $150k in income, and 16% more likely to have $75-$150k in income.

Finally, Smart Speaker households are more likely than the typical Wi-Fi home to have children in the household.

2. Smartphone Voice Usage is Linked to Smart Speaker Purchase Intent

One in 2 smartphone users engages with voice technology on their device, per the report, with 43% of these voice users having begun using the technology within the past year. Almost half expect their use of voice technology to increase – and separate research indicates that this may replace swiping and typing.

The report suggests that “voice usage is a leading indicator of Smart Speaker purchase intent.” Why? Some 42% of smartphone voice technology users intent to buy a Smart Speaker, making them almost three times more likely to plan such a purchase than non-voice users (15%).

3. Smart Speaker Owners Aren’t Sold On Using Them For Purchases, Yet

Previous research from comScore found fairly limited usage of Smart Speakers for commerce purposes.

This latest study details several reasons why Smart Speaker owners would not purchase a physical product using their voice-activated assistant.

The leading reasons given were the inability to see product details (45%) and the potential for incorrect orders / misheard voice commands (45%).

Fewer pointed to difficulties making an order (18%) or the inability to purchase from preferred retailers (15%).

4. Smart Speakers Have Wider Adoption Than Wearables

In terms of active penetration of various devices in Wi-Fi households during October, Smartphones (90%) and Computers (89%) head the pack, with Tablets (60%) also in a majority of such households.

Not far behind, OTT devices are seeing strong penetration, led by Streaming Boxes/Sticks (43%) and followed by Smart TVs (33%) and Gaming Consoles (29%).

Among Internet of Things (IoT) devices, meanwhile, Smart Speakers (11%) were in more Wi-Fi households than Wearables (7%).

5. Smart Speaker Owners Seem Brand-Loyal

Finally, comScore points to data indicating that Smart Speaker owners are brand-loyal, at least when it comes to their streaming device purchases.

For example, Amazon Echo households are twice as likely as the average household to have Fire TV, while Google Home households are almost 4 times more likely than average to have Chromecast.

The full presentation can be accessed here [download page].


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