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One in Six Americans Own a Smart Speaker, Says Study

Smart speaker use is on the rise and a new study from NPR and Edison Research finds 16 percent of Americans own a smart speaker. 

The survey was conducted in November and December with 1,816 respondents over the age of 18. The total figure would scale to about 39 million people in the U.S. 

Amazon Alexa devices dominated the market, according to the survey, with 11 percent of those surveyed claiming ownership of the smart speaker. Meanwhile, 4 percent claimed Google Home devices. 

As well, the study looked at holiday shopping, finding that 7 percent of Americans received a smart speaker as a gift and 4 percent received their first smart speaker ever. 


Listening habits were also documented: 71 percent of smart speaker users said they were listening to more audio since getting a smart speaker and users also acknowledged the device is replacing time they used to spend with other media devices (39 percent said traditional AM/FM radio, 34 percent said smartphones and 30 percent said television). 

Focusing on the communal experience of smart speakers, the survey found that of the top tasks requested of smart speakers while spending time with friends and family 60 percent of users asked their devices to play music. Lower ranking requests included answering a general question (30 percent), getting the weather (28 percent), telling a joke (18 percent) and listening to music on AM/FM radio (13 percent). 

The study follows a report released last month that U.S. smart speaker sales tripled in 2017 to total nearly 25 million, 11 million of which were sold in the final quarter alone. 

Read the full NPR and Edison Research findings here