Consumer Analytics

Household penetration of smart speakers will reach 50-55% by 2021

by David Mitchel | Apr. 17, 2018

2017 represented a boom year for the smart speaker category with household adoption reaching 15% in 4Q 2017. This is just the beginning of a period of rapid growth for the category, as Parks Associates estimates household penetration of smart speakers to reach 50-55% by 2021.

In the blossoming voice-first technology market, key consumer value propositions include ease of use for entertainment content discovery and consumption, as well as simplification of competing protocols in the smart home. As voice technology improves and adoption increases, it will become more integral to consumer’s daily lives.

As voice assistants proliferate, the experience will become more fragmented. Consumers may interact with one assistant on their phone, another in their kitchen, and a third in their car. Differing user experiences with differing assistant platforms has the potential to cause voice fatigue, which may hinder the development of the market.

The company that solves assistant coexistence is positioned to tear down the silos and help unify the user experience. In the short-term, expect data ownership competition between the tech giants to impede the effort. Alternatively, voluntary standardization of voice assistants would accelerate interoperability and provide a cohesive environment in which requests can be routed to the best assistant suited for the task. The end result would be more value for the consumer.

Smart Speakers with Personal Assistant Ownership

David Mitchel

David Mitchel

Research Analyst

David Mitchel is part of the Parks Associates Consumer Analytics research team. He studies market and consumer trends in a number of areas, including Access & Entertainment, Connected CE, Energy Management, Connected Home Systems, Digital Media, Digital Health, and Mobile Devices.

Prior to working at Parks Associates, David spent 5 years working in a variety of marketing roles, gaining experience in a variety of industries. He earned a BA in Communication from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

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