Back in December 2017 I wrote an article talking about voice see here.
In that i wrote that ‘Gartner Predicts 75% of U.S. households will have Smart Speakers by 2020, which means that 75% of 125.82 million households (94.3 million) will have voice-activated device’. Well its now mid 2019, so i thought i’d give an update, so where are we now...
At present in the USA there are over 118 million homes that have embraced smart speakers, which is a 78 percent growth over the previous year, according to researchers.
Furthermore, researchers at Hubspot have discovered that 52 percent of people use a voice assistant while just 45 do not. Their data also shows that most people use these features on their smartphones. Yet, half of the respondents said they had plans to buy a smart speaker within the next year.
The smart speaker market alone is expected to reach $23.3 billion over the next five years. That does not account for any growth in the smartphone, auto or IoT devices.
Who are the major players in the voice market
That’s not changed it’s still the big tech companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple that are all fighting for their share of the voice market.
Most of these companies are investing heavily in research and development. Google is expanding its voice capability to over 30 languages. While Amazon is looking at moving into auto integration of its smart voice products.
When it comes to smart speakers alone, Amazon holds 61 percent of the market while Google has 24 percent. Apple has just three percent, Sonos has two percent and the final 10 percent is made up of other smart speaker manufacturers.
Google has indicated it will be looking into voice capabilities in the healthcare and hospitality industries. In particular, the company has developed Aiva Health that can be used in hospitals and care homes. It works by having patients use smart speakers to ask for medical attention. They have also offered patients information in the Novant Health system. The company’s hospitality ventures include GoMovement, which is a chatbot that hotel guests can use to request a variety of information.
Amazon has been looking for ways to unite its smart speakers with its online shopping platform. However, the company has also been working on developing more voice devices. This includes Echo Auto, which connects users to the Alexa feature in the car. Vehicle manufacturers like Infinity, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz have been adding this option to some of their models.
“There are now tens of thousands of developers across more than 150 countries building new devices using the Alexa Voice Service, and the number of Alexa-enabled devices has more than tripled in the past year. Our partners are creating a wide variety of new Alexa-enabled devices and experiences,” Jeff Bezos was quoted as saying during a 2018 earnings call.
Smartphone giant Apple has opted to team up with Salesforce and create apps with voice technology. They are also trying to grab a share of the smart speaker market. In fact, the company has teamed up with Microsoft to allow for Alexa integration between Windows 10 users and Apple’s voice assistant.
The future of voice
Currently, the United States holds the biggest market share when it comes to smart speakers at 40 percent, China has 30 percent and the final 30 percent is dispersed among other countries.
Also, now non-tech companies have begun to explore how they can use smart voice products to further their marketing objectives, according to an article in the New York Times.
“We’ve hit the point where the majority of our clients are now asking us for help with a voice strategy,” Abbey Klaassen, president in New York of the agency 360i told the publication. “It’s gone from an interesting kind of experiment to something they have recognized that they need to invest in to make sure they are discoverable and relevant in the next five years.”
Although neither Google Home nor Alexa are equipped to run ads just yet, there is a likelihood that they will do so in the future.
"We feel like this voice-based interaction is not going away,” a spokesperson from HBO told the New York Times. “It’s starting with speakers, but it’ll very quickly be TVs and cars and all these other places.”
Juniper Researcher James Moar noted that these companies will need to adjust their ad campaigns to fit the format of voice products.
“Voice-based interaction presents less options than other forms of advertising, meaning less adverts are possible,” Moar stated. “Not all voice interactions are product searches, meaning advertisers will need to adjust their strategies to build a brand’s voice strategy around information provision as well as sales.”
Voice-activated devices like smart speakers have been gaining a massive following since their introduction to the marketplace just a few years ago. Billions of homes already have them installed and billions more are expected to do so over the next five years.
power of voice has even been recognized by those at major brands and marketers. Many organizations are actively seeking out ways to use voice to reach consumers.
Some of the major tech companies have already found new ways to integrate voice into other devices, such as cars. While other companies are targeting specific markets like healthcare and hospitality.
The numbers predicted back in 2016 for 2020 have already been exceeded by Q1 2019, so It seems safe to say that IOT and Voice is here to stay as more and more people are integrating voice into their searches and their homes.
At incendiary blue we have created a number of Alexa and Google based voice apps for the likes of GSK, so if you need help with you ‘Next Big Thing’ then give us a call
Article written by Mark Edgington