“Alexa, play Tony Evans…” The Growth + Future of Smart Speakers

The Infinite Dial, released by Edison Research, is a report built around digital media consumption in its different forms. The 2020 data was recently released and this new report dives into the growth of smart speaker ownership in the U.S., among other things.

The growth of the smart speaker 

The findings indicate that smart speaker ownership for the U.S. population (12+) right now shows 76 million people, which is 27 percent of the population, up from 23 percent in 2019. Amazon Alexa has the biggest chunk of that pie by a pretty wide margin ahead of Google Home.

Interestingly enough, the use of smartwatches has been flat (if not declining) over the last couple of years. This very well could have to do with the price. Smart speakers such as Echo and Alexa are selling for $20-$30. It’s now very affordable to purchase a smart speaker for your home. And this is leading to more and more engagement and integration into the home.

Not only that, people are now listening to their music, podcasts, and consuming different media channels through these smart speakers. It’s more than just buying something on Amazon. It’s a media engagement platform.

I don’t anticipate the growth of these speakers slowing. Every year there is a pretty significant bump and right now it is around 50% of the population.

Practical advice for ministries

I believe the ministry that dips their toe in this water and starts to message smart speakers to their audience could find great success in the days ahead.

“Alexa, play a Tony Evans message while I get ready for work.”

This is our future.

But even now, ministries should send messages that instruct people on how they can listen via smart speaker from their kitchen cooking dinner, bedroom getting ready, or in the living room with their family.

The growth rate is too dramatic to ignore. And one of the interesting aspects of the growth of smart speaker consumption is that a third of people who own a smart speaker have three or more of them in their house.

Just one piece of advice: Make sure your kids aren’t asking Alexa to do their homework.

For more insight into the latest research from The Infinite Dial, be sure to check out “The Dunham Podcast” episode, What You Need to Know About Digital Media Consumption.

More Insights from Dunham+Company: “Social Media Usage: The Numbers Are In!”

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