Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are tempting many American consumers away from their TV sets, smartphones and laptops.

That was one finding from analysis by NPR, the public radio broadcaster, and Edison Research, a Somerville, New Jersey-based research firm. In fact, they found that around 40% of smart speaker owners in the “early mainstream” segment – who were not the immediate buyers of these devices, but acquired such gadgets as they became more well-known and established – bought them to reduce the time they spent with screens.

According to Tom Webster, svp/strategy and marketing at Edison Research, the implications of this insight are wide-ranging. “It's not just television screens; it's anything with a screen. The people who say that they are spending time with these devices tell us that it's replacing time with a lot of different things,” he said at CES 2019, an event held by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in Las Vegas.