Amazon dominates the UK and US smart speaker market, according to the latest data from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism's November Digital News Report. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of smart speaker owners in the UK said an Amazon device was the main smart speaker used, while nearly two-thirds (63%) said the same in the US. This contrasts with Google in second-place, accounting for 14% of the UK market and 26% in the US. Total American smart speaker penetration reached 8.9% this year.
The report states that Amazon's dominance arises from its 'first mover' advantage, but this is being challenged. As a result, the company's failure to be first in Australia has allowed Google to emerge ahead. Furthermore, the absence of competitors in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands has provided Google with a growth opportunity.
Smart speakers are used largely for playing music and checking the weather, at the expense of traditional radio and smartphones and with strong growth in commerce expected. While brands are showing increasing interest, the technology is still nascent. Indeed, the report notes that while companies may add screens to smart speakers to facilitate advertising, these devices account for just 8% of the UK market and 6% in the US.