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Key points included

  • Voice assistant usage (Ranked)
  • Devices used to access a voice assistant
  • Smart speaker ownership
  • Voice controlled household devices

Covered in this report

Digital personal voice assistants are a relatively recent tech innovation, introduced to the masses initially via Apple’s Siri launch in 2011. Since then, new voice assistants have entered the market and their capabilities such as voice comprehension, contextual understanding, and the variety of skills (or abilities) have all improved dramatically in short order.


The primary voice assistants in the US market are from dominant tech companies Apple, Amazon and Google and are predominantly accessed via smartphones and smart speakers from these companies. The wide availability of voice assistants has led to widespread usage; however, usage varies based on activity and among consumers.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Buddy Lo, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Voice assistants are playing a growing role in consumers' everyday lives. Massive investment is underway to develop voice assistant abilities and to further integrate smart home devices to provide a seamless experience utilizing voice commands to control household devices and increase hands-free interfacing. Improving voice assistant capabilities, coupled with the trend of higher usage among younger consumers points to even more voice integration in the future Buddy Lo
Senior Technology Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Market drivers and key players
            • Figure 1: Voice assistants used, September 2019
          • The issues
            • Lack of awareness – not necessarily access – limits participation
              • Figure 2: Reasons for not using a voice assistant, September 2019
            • Users as well as non-users worried about potential breaches in privacy
              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward voice assistants – surveillance, by age, September 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Consumers enjoy using voice assistants and look for improvements
                • Figure 4: Attitudes toward voice assistants – fun to use, by age, September 2019
              • No clear leader in the voice assistant space
                • Figure 5: Attitudes toward voice assistants, September 2019
              • Smart speakers can lead to more household device integration
                • Figure 6: Voice controlled household devices, by voice assistant devices – smartphone and smart speaker, September 2019
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Siri the leading voice assistant in US market
                  • Smart home device adoption continues to grow
                    • Potential Apple HomePod 2 could improve Apple’s standing in smart speaker category
                    • Market Factors

                      • Smart home device adoption
                        • In-house venture capital funding helps spur innovation
                        • Key Players – The “Big Four” Voice Assistants

                            • Figure 7: Voice assistants used, September 2019
                          • Apple’s Siri
                            • Figure 8: Apple watch informational email, June 2019
                          • Amazon’s Alexa
                            • Figure 9: Amazon Show 5 informational email, July 2019
                          • Google Assistant
                            • Figure 10: AT&T Google Pixel promotional email, October 2019
                          • Samsung Bixby
                          • What’s Working

                            • Siri makes gains through smartphone penetration
                              • Amazon Alexa Echo product sales increases usage
                              • What’s Struggling

                                • Samsung’s Bixby struggles to gain widespread usage
                                  • Privacy concerns an issue for users and non-users alike
                                  • What to Watch

                                    • Google pushes new features to its Google Nest Hub Max
                                      • Google Duplex introduces new ecommerce functionality for Google Assistant users
                                        • Apple’s HomePod 2 rumors
                                          • Amazon Alexa’s multilingual function follows Google Assistant capabilities
                                            • Voice assistant-supported headphones and earbuds
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Majority of consumers use a voice assistant – one quarter use more than one
                                                • Siri has a slight edge over Alexa as the most used voice assistant
                                                  • Smartphones are the primary device for using a voice assistant
                                                    • Basic queries and music are top voice assistant actions
                                                      • Availability and privacy concerns top reasons for not using voice assistants
                                                        • Amazon Echo products lead the smart speaker category
                                                          • One in five consumers use their voice to control the TV
                                                            • Surveillance concerns balance out enthusiasm with voice assistants
                                                            • Voice Assistants Used

                                                              • Two thirds of consumers use at least one voice assistant
                                                                  • Figure 11: Voice assistant usage, September 2019
                                                                • Voice assistant usage drops among 55+
                                                                  • Figure 12: Age distribution of voice assistant users, September 2019
                                                                  • Figure 13: Voice assistant users, by age, September 2019
                                                                • iPhone makes Siri the most used voice assistant
                                                                    • Figure 14: Voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                    • Figure 15: Voice assistant used – among single-assistant users, September 2019
                                                                  • High iPhone ownership among younger consumers leads to higher Siri usage
                                                                    • Figure 16: Voice assistants used, by age, September 2019
                                                                  • Bixby has the most overlap with other voice assistants
                                                                    • Figure 17: Voice assistants used, by single and multiple voice assistant usage, September 2019
                                                                    • Figure 18: Voice assistant usage, by voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                    • Figure 19: Voice assistant usage ranks, by respective voice assistant, September 2019
                                                                • Voice Assistant Devices

                                                                  • Smartphone is the top device used to access voice assistants
                                                                    • Figure 20: Voice assistant devices, September 2019
                                                                  • Older consumers go to smart speakers for voice assistants
                                                                    • Figure 21: Voice assistant devices, by age, September 2019
                                                                  • Siri and Google Assistant more likely to be accessed via smartphones
                                                                    • Figure 22: Voice assistant devices, by voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                    • Figure 23: Voice assistant devices, by single-voice-assistant users, September 2019
                                                                  • Varied devices spur varied assistant usage
                                                                    • Figure 24: Voice assistant devices, by single and multiple voice assistant usage, September 2019
                                                                • Voice Assistant Actions

                                                                  • More than half of users ask for music, information or weather weekly
                                                                      • Figure 25: Voice assistant actions, September 2019
                                                                    • Users are more likely to perform specific tasks based on the voice assistants
                                                                      • Figure 26: Voice assistant actions, by voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                      • Figure 27: Voice assistant actions, by single-voice assistant users, September 2019
                                                                    • Siri more likely than other assistants to be used for communication
                                                                      • Figure 28: Voice assistant actions, by voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                      • Figure 29: Voice assistant actions, by single-voice assistant users, September 2019
                                                                    • Multiple voice assistants leads to more engagement
                                                                      • Figure 30: Voice assistant actions, by voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                  • Reasons for Not Using a Voice Assistant

                                                                    • Awareness can be improved
                                                                      • Figure 31: Reasons for not using a voice assistant, September 2019
                                                                    • Younger holdouts still prefer a touch screen interface
                                                                      • Figure 32: Reasons for not using a voice assistant – preference for touch screen, by age, September 2019
                                                                    • English-speaking Hispanics slightly more likely to think voice assistants won’t understand them
                                                                      • Figure 33: Reasons for not using a voice assistant - understanding, by race and Hispanic origin, September 2019
                                                                  • Smart Speakers Owned

                                                                    • Nearly half of households own a smart speaker – Amazon leading the pack
                                                                      • Figure 34: Smart speakers owned, September 2019
                                                                    • Age and income are strong drivers of smart speaker ownership
                                                                      • Figure 35: Smart speaker ownership, by age and income, September 2019
                                                                    • Three quarters of Alexa users own an Echo product
                                                                      • Figure 36: Smart speakers owned, by voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                    • Apple’s brand power draws younger consumers to the HomePod
                                                                      • Figure 37: Smart speaker ownership index to all, by age, September 2019
                                                                  • Voice Controlled Household Devices

                                                                    • Two in five control at least one household device with their voice
                                                                      • Figure 38: Breakout of number of household devices controlled by voice, September 2019
                                                                    • Consumers most likely to use their voice to control the TV
                                                                      • Figure 39: Household devices controlled by voice, September 2019
                                                                      • Figure 40: Roku informational email, October 2019
                                                                      • Figure 41: Cox communications Contour TV direct mail, October 2019
                                                                      • Figure 42: Dish acquisition email, October 2019
                                                                      • Figure 43: Verizon Fios direct mail, August 2019
                                                                      • Figure 44: Xfinity voice remote informational email, May 2019
                                                                    • Alexa and Google Assistant users control more household devices
                                                                      • Figure 45: Number of household devices controlled by voice per user, by voice assistants used, September 2019
                                                                      • Figure 46: Household devices controlled by voice, by single and multiple voice assistant usage, September 2019
                                                                      • Figure 47: Voice controlled household devices, by voice assistant devices – smartphone and smart speaker, September 2019
                                                                      • Figure 48: Amazon Guard informational email, May 2019
                                                                      • Figure 49: Apple TV 4K informational email, April 2019
                                                                      • Figure 50: AT&T direct mail, October 2019
                                                                  • Attitudes toward Voice Assistants

                                                                    • Concerns over surveillance remain a problem
                                                                        • Figure 51: Attitudes toward voice assistants – surveillance, by age, September 2019
                                                                        • Figure 52: Amazon Echo Show 5 informational email, July 2019
                                                                      • Users are optimistic about voice assistant technology
                                                                        • Figure 53: Attitudes toward voice assistants, September 2019
                                                                      • Opportunity to establish a leader in the space
                                                                        • Figure 54: Attitudes toward voice assistants, September 2019
                                                                        • Figure 55: Attitudes toward voice assistants, by single and multiple voice assistant usage, September 2019
                                                                      • High usage and household device integration raise importance of voice assistants
                                                                        • Figure 56: Attitudes toward voice assistants, by voice assistants used and single and multiple voice assistant usage, September 2019
                                                                        • Figure 57: Household devices controlled by voice, by voice assistant users and attitudes toward voice assistant users, September 2019
                                                                        • Figure 58: Attitudes toward voice assistants, by number of household items controlled by voice, September 2019
                                                                    • Consumer Segmentation – Attitudes toward Voice Assistants

                                                                      • Three groups of voice assistant users identified
                                                                          • Figure 59: Voice assistant user consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                        • Loud Speakers
                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                              • Figure 60: Profile of Loud Speakers, September 2019
                                                                            • Opportunities
                                                                                • Figure 61: Voice assistant actions, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                                • Figure 62: Attitudes toward voice assistants, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                              • Mid Speakers
                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                  • Figure 63: Profile of Mid Speakers, September 2019
                                                                                  • Figure 64: Voice assistant devices, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                                    • Figure 65: Voice assistant actions, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 66: Attitudes toward voice assistants, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                                  • Phone Speakers
                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                        • Figure 67: Profile of Phone Speakers, September 2019
                                                                                        • Figure 68: Smart speaker ownership, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                                      • Opportunities
                                                                                          • Figure 69: Voice assistants used, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                                          • Figure 70: Single and multiple voice assistant usage, by consumer segments, September 2019
                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                              • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations

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