CIRP – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners – has just put out their report for the end of 2018, which shows that there are over 66 million smart speakers being used right now. And that is up from 53 million just three months earlier. This is the result of a booming holiday quarter for both Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers.
According to this report, about 70-percent of the market share belongs to the Amazon Echo, while 24-percent belongs to the Google Home, and Apple's HomePod makes up the final six-percent. Surprisingly, Microsoft's Cortana is not on the report at all.
To some, it might be a bit surprising that Amazon has such a lead over Google and even Apple. But the reason for the major lead over Google is due to the fact that Amazon had the Echo available almost two years before Google's Home was made available. Another reason is the fact that Amazon also sells their hardware dirt cheap – basically at cost. It has also been giving away the Echo Dot with many purchases over the past year or so.
The HomePod is only at six-percent, largely due to the price and functionality. If you are not totally invested in the Apple ecosystem, the HomePod does not make a whole lot of sense for you. This is because you can only listen to Apple Music on the HomePod, and it is also about $349.
CIRP also found that many consumers are now using multiple smart speakers in their home. Instead of just having one in their living room or in their bedroom, they are picking up a second one or even more, to put in other rooms of their home. About 35-percent have at least two smart speakers in their home. That is almost double what it was about a year ago. And with the install base having jumped quite a bit in the past year, that is a much bigger jump than it sounds like.
However, those that have three or four smart speakers in their home is a much lower number, both of which are under 10-percent. This portion of its report was based on a survey of about 500 respondents. So these particular numbers are not the most accurate, but it does paint a rather interesting picture for the future of smart speakers.
These numbers show us one thing, pretty clearly. That Amazon and Google's strategy to get their digital voice assistants into everyone's home is definitely working. If Amazon and Google did not sell their smart speakers as cheap as they have been, and bundling them with some other smart home products, the install base would likely be a whole lot smaller – and Apple might have a larger chunk of the market as well. But including the Echo Dot and Home Mini in with so many different products, particularly during the holidays, means big numbers for both.
This also shows that the holiday quarter was particularly kind to both Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. And there's likely a ton of new users out there.