In the battle of the voice assistants, will Amazon continue to shout the loudest?
Being the market leader doesn't guarantee continued success over time and the latest data taken from the YouGov Video and Voice survey demonstrates just how tricky it is to hold onto that position in the world of voice assistants.
The explosion over the past three years in the use of devices that obey your command has benefited both Google and Amazon - they have closed the gap and overtaken Apple.
Interestingly, the same survey reports only a small reduction in the number of people who have never used a voice assistant, down from 49% in 2017 to 44% in 2019.
This suggests that the fortunes of Alexa and OK Google have been driven by individuals using more than one assistant, possibly as a result of the increase in the number of devices with voice assistant capabilities.
Amazon's launch of the Echo range of devices is exactly the type of innovation required to get to the top of the pile. Ownership of these devices grew from 4% of the population in 2017 to 18% in 2019 and this certainly won’t have done Alexa any harm.
Google Home devices also saw an increase in ownership from 4% to 8% in the same period, but Apple was late to the party with the HomePod not launching until early 2018.
The latest data from YouGov shows that Apple have paid the price for their late entry and just 1% of the population own one.
Success is not just about how many users - how frequent is also a key metric. Being the first to integrate with third party devices, such as Amazon’s integration with Sonos, should encourage greater numbers of users, greater frequency of use, and in turn, greater loyalty. The YouGov survey shows that this is where Alexa excels.
If we dig a little bit deeper into the data, we see that Amazon are ahead of the competition when it comes to frequency of use. This suggests that Alexa has good foundations to continue to shout the loudest, but in her world, things move fast with the rumoured release of Apple's HomePod 2 in 2020 and I'm sure this won’t be the end of this story. It won't be long before the next chapter is released with the first wave of the 2020 Video and Voice data.
Rob Laurence is head of Mediatel Connected
The YouGov Video and Voice survey is exclusively available through Mediatel Connected and is part of the recently launched Consumer Surveys app which also contains data from Mediatel's Connected Screens, RAJAR Midas, BARB Establishment Survey and Ofcom's Technology Tracker. For more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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