The Amazon Echo is completely dominating the smart speaker market in the UK, with 69% of those who own a smart speaker using an Amazon Echo, according to new research released by YouGov. That compares to just 19% of users who admitted to having a Google Home speaker.
Amazon pioneered the smart speaker market with the Echo speaker back in 2014, with its Alexa assistant promising to make voice control more intuitive than ever. Echo users were able to order their shopping, ask questions, listen to music and control smart devices using nothing but their voice, making it instantly popular with tech-savvy consumers. Since its release the retail giant has seen major competition from other firms.
Google is arguably Amazon’s largest competition, and its Google Home speaker was released in 2016 to much fanfare. With its years of experience in the search market, Google promised a speaker that could answer any question you asked it – and it’s largely delivered. Unfortunately, Amazon’s head start in the UK market, with the Echo speaker launching in September 2016, half a year before the Google Home, seems to be too much for Google to contend with.
It’s that head start in the UK market that has meant many Google Home speakers are sharing their homes with Amazon Echo devices. In fact, more of those who own a Google Home are more likely to say that the Amazon Echo is their main speaker than the other way around – 9% compared to 2%, respectively. The Google Home is supposedly more popular among tech-savvy users, however.
Those who like good quality audio are unlikely to choose either the Amazon Echo or Google Home, however. For that, users are more likely to opt for either the Apple HomePod or the Sonos One. While their more expensive price tags mean that their marketshare isn’t as substantial as either Amazon or Google’s, they still command 1% and 5%, respectively. Rather conveniently for Amazon, the Sonos One’s use of the Alexa assistant gives Amazon even more penetration in UK homes.
Amazon has shown no sign of slowing down in developing its smart speaker further, while its regular offers on the Echo speaker could help it cement itself at the top of the smart speaker for some time in the future. As awareness of the smart speaker market grows, however, and users become more tech savvy, Google could begin winning over consumers. The Google Assistant is certainly smarter than Alexa for some functions – such as asking complicated questions – but Amazon’s lead gives it time to bring improve the smarts of Alexa.
This article is part of a series exploring YouGov’s latest research surrounding the smart home market in the UK. For more on this series, click here.