How are people using smart speakers?

Picture of smart speaker for use cases articleRegardless of where you stand on smart speakers being life-changing or privacy-violating, it appears that smart speakers are sticking around for the long haul. According to a study by Canalys, a market analyst firm, the global install base for smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and more will surpass 200 million users before the end of 2019. This is a year-over-year jump of 82.4% from 2018. 

So, what do all these people use smart speakers for? Here are the top 5 use cases according to a study from Adobe (full study slides at bottom).

1. Playing music

70% of smart speaker owners use their smart speakers to play music. Nothing is nicer than setting the mood for coffee, dinner, pre-games, or working than a quick chat with your voice assistant. “Alexa, play chill electronic music” is always a good choice for a morning coffee and working combo.

2. Weather

“What’s the temperature outside?” Ever since the invention of radio (I’m sure), it has been easier to have someone else tell you the weather than simply walking outside. With smart speakers, there’s no longer a reason to raise your head to look outside. 64% of smart speaker owners get their weather info from their voice assistant. 

3. Asking Fun Questions

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Who doesn’t want to know how far away Saturn is on a whim? 53% of smart speaker owners use their smart speakers to ask fun questions - making that one friend that seems to have an endless supply of fun facts reevaluate his or her role in your friend group.

4. Online Search

47% of smart speaker owners use their devices for online searches. We can only speculate that all of these searches are fact checks to settle arguments - arguments that only 10 years ago - would have gone unresolved for a lifetime. Now, once you’re 15 minutes into an argument on which Chinese dynasty began the construction of the Great Wall of China, you don’t even need to type your question on your phone to end the debate.

5 / 6 (tie). Alarms / Reminders

46% of smart speaker owners are now better at being on time and remembering things than the rest of us. With a quick request to their device, they’ll leave at the right time for that birthday party where they would usually show up late.

5 / 6 (tie). Check the News

Rounding out our top 5 is checking the news, with 46% of smart speaker owners coming up to speed with current events through their devices. That classic NPR morning briefing in soothing radio voices leaves people not only better informed, but in a better mood.


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