Voice-assistant device sales are up 39% year over year outside of the holiday season, when sales spiked, according to a new analysis by Adobe Digital Insights.
The devices’ rapid growth suggests that “we’ve moved from the ‘early adopter’ phase to an ‘early majority’ phase in which a number of consumers own and use them,” says Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director of Adobe Digital Insights.
The analysis is based on 14.3 billion visits to online retailers from May 2016 to May 2017, measured by Adobe Analytics Cloud. Adobe Digital Insights also surveyed 397 consumers about voice assistants.
Google Home, which was released in early November, accounted for 39% of voice-assistant device sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, making it the top seller just ahead of Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo Dot, which accounted for 38%. However, Google Home’s title was short-lived as its share fell to 30% in the first quarter as the Echo Dot’s share grew to 53%. The remaining share goes to Amazon’s other voice-assistant devices including Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap.
“The lower price point of the Amazon Echo Dot drove more consumer interest and units sold,” Gaffney says.
Google Home’s $129 retail price is more than 1.5 times the Echo Dot’s $49 retail price, which means that in terms of revenue, Google Home maintains a steady lead over all other devices both during and after the holiday at nonproprietary retailers, Adobe finds.
Although sales of voice-assistant devices are rising, their use—as well as other voice-based internet browsing—is still fairly limited; only 28% of consumers report using their voice to interact with devices and the internet at least once a week. And 49% of U.S. consumers never use their voice to interact with devices and the internet.
That limited usage may reflect the fact that many consumers have found their experiences with voice assistants are subpar. 37% of consumers said their experience with voice assistants was “terrible” or “not good.”Favorite