Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

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Research by Adobe Analytics found that 48 percent of those surveyed will own a smart speaker by the end of the year.

Smart speakers and voice assistants are not a passing fad and, according to a new study, nearly half of U.S. consumers will own one of the devices by the end of the upcoming holidays.

Research by Adobe Analytics found that 48 percent of over 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed will own a smart speaker by the end of the year -- 32 percent of whom reported already owning one, with another 16 percent stating plans for a purchase. 

The 32 percent figure is up 14 percent since January, when 28 percent of Americans surveyed claimed to own a smart speaker. That growth is especially substantial, according to the report, since 79 percent of all smart speaker purchases tend to occur in the fourth quarter. (A study by NPR and Edison Research found just 16 percent of Americans owned a smart speaker in January -- a number that ticked up to 18 percent overall in a study released in July.)

Elsewhere, the study found 44 percent of smart speaker owners use their devices multiple times a day with another 27 percent claiming at least daily use. Among all owners, most common smart speaker voice activities are asking for music (70 percent of users) and the weather forecast (64 percent), as well as asking fun questions (53 percent), online search (47 percent), checking the news (46 percent) and more. 

Smart speakers are also seemingly a gateway to further voice assistant use, with 72 percent of those who own smart speakers stating they feel comfortable using voice assistants in front of other people. Meanwhile just 29 percent of non-owners stated the same. Overall, the study found smart speaker users are three time more likely to use voice assistants on their smart phones, four times more likely to use voice assistants on their laptops, six times more likely to use voice assistants in their cars and 13 times more likely to use voice assistants on their wearables. 

Voice assistant use is generally on the rise, with 76 percent of smart speaker owners reporting they have been using their devices more over the past year and only 4 percent claiming their use declined. Even those who do not own smart speakers stated a 38 percent increase in voice assistant use, with only 11 percent using them less. 

Read the full Adobe Analytics study here

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