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Nearly 40 million Americans now using smart speakers, research finds

By | Published on Wednesday 17 January 2018

Amazon Echo Show

According to new research from NPR and Edison Research in the US some 16% of Americans have a smart speaker.

Admittedly that stat is based on a survey done late last year of just over 1800 consumers. But if applied to the US population at large, that’s 39 million Americans who now can’t get through the day without the help of Alexa (or at least something a little bit Alexa-esque. Although mainly Alexa, who is very Alexa-esque).

Smart speakers, rather than smart phones, are expected to drive the next phase of growth in streaming music, which could put Alexa maker Amazon – a late entrant into the streaming market – back in the game.

The majority of those surveyed by NPR and Edison said that they listen to more audio now that they have a smart speaker, and that said speaker has resulted in them using other audio-playing devices like phones and radios less.

The growth of voice activated gadgets like Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo came up in a recent interview in Variety with Steve Barnett, CEO at Universal Music’s Capitol division in the US.

He mused: “Obviously voice recognition is a big thing for the future. Alexa changed a lot of things. It took Amazon, who had been out of the game, and put them back in, and in a profound way. If you think that Alexa is only live in about nine countries, wait until it’s in 50 countries”.



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