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Close to Half of All U.S. Consumers Will Own a Smart Speaker After the Holidays (Study)

The smart speaker boom is continuing: Almost half of all consumers will own a smart speaker after the upcoming holiday season, according to a new study by Adobe.  Smart speaker owners also increasingly access an expanded set of voice activities, including online research, shopping and making phone calls.

Altogether, 32% of consumers now own a smart speaker, according to Adobe’s new “State of Voice Assistants” report. That’s up 14% since January, which is notable given the fact that most smart speakers are being purchased during the holiday season.

76% of smart speaker users told the company that they have been using voice assistants more often during the past year, with 71% using voice assistants at least once a day. 44% even use voice assistants multiple times a day.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Adobe

Smart speakers have also led to a growing acceptance of voice overall. Talking to a machine used to be awkward, but 72% of smart speaker owners are now comfortable with using voice assistants in front of others. Among people not owning smart speakers, only 29% are comfortable with doing so.

What’s more, people who own smart speakers also increasingly access voice assistants on other devices. Smart speaker owners are 3 times more likely to access voice assistants on their phones than people who don’t own such devices, according to the study.

In other words: Smart speakers have become a kind of trojan horse for voice assistants, which explains why Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung all have their own speakers to drive the adoption of their respective voice assistants.

“Technology trends come and go, but it’s clear that voice is here to stay. Adobe’s new survey shows that voice is becoming increasingly interwoven into our cultural fabric and how consumers engage with the world around them,” said Adobe Analytics product marketing manager Heidi Besik. “As a society, we are realizing that the usefulness of voice assistant technology can far outweigh the initial awkwardness felt when talking to devices in front of others, and the growth in smart speaker usage has had the most impact in driving this forward.”

As smart speakers are becoming more popular, their owners are also increasingly getting more use out of them. Music still remains by far the most popular use case, with 70% of smart speaker owners using voice assistants for it. Second on the list are weather forecasts, which are being requested by 64% of smart speaker owners. 47% report using the devices for online searches, 46% to ask for the news, and 36% to make calls.

CREDIT: Courtesy fo Adobe

Adobe’s study also suggests smart speakers will once again be a popular holiday gift. 23% of smart speaker owners plan to buy one for someone else this coming holiday season, and a whopping 45% want to buy another speaker for their own household. That leads the company to estimate that after the holidays, 48% of consumers will own a smart speaker.

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