Over one-tenth of internet users in Italy, the UK, the US and Canada use a smart speaker, according to the latest data from YouGov and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. This means the UK has edged ahead of the US in device popularity. Across the 18 markets surveyed, average penetration is 6.8% this year.

The UK takes the lead for using a smart speaker to access the news, at 5.4%, as Italy drops to eighth. Average smart speaker use to access news drops to just 2.2%. While advanced tasks like voice commerce show potential, basic actions like checking the news remain dominant.

Amazon continues to be most popular, with one-half of users owning any of their devices. Google accounts for over one-third (38.2%) of the market and has gained share since last year. While smart speaker devices with a screen provide greater user and advertiser potential, only 11.0% of users own such a device.

Although Amazon devices offer wider functionality, Google provides more accurate answers to brand and product questions. Voice search is a growing area of interest for marketers, although less than half are ready for its application.