Millennials drive growth in U.S. smart speaker ownership

Westwood One shared some recent insights about smart speaker use and ownership, including some Q2 2019 data from the Edison Research Share of Ear analysis. Rates of ownership show no signs of slowing, with 30% of Americans now owning a smart speaker in the second quarter of this year. The trajectory continues steadily upward, following 27% ownership reported in Q1 2019 and 21% in the post-holiday season of 2018.

Smart speaker households are also becoming more diverse. A comparison of Share of Ear data from the second quarters of 2019 and 2018 revealed that Hispanics and African Americans generated the largest spikes in ownership among millennials. African Americans in that age group posted the biggest jump, from 11.7% ownership to 20.2% ownership. For millennial Hispanics, the rate increased from 12% to 19.6%.

Marketers and advertisers are reporting an increase in use of voice technologies as smart speaker ownership grows. In a recent survey produced by Advertiser Perceptions, the rate of these experts already using applications of smart speakers grew from 18% in January 2018 to 36% in March 2019. Skeptics are dwindling. The January 2018 survey found that 31% of respondents had not discussed using smart speaker skills in their campaigns, but that rate dropped to 15% in March 2019.

Anna Washenko