Amazon maintains a significant lead in smart speaker market

David Matthews

TS Maniac
Staff member

Amazon's early investment into smart speakers appears to be paying off as the company continues to hold a hefty lead in the smart speaker market. However, as the market matures, competitors are steadily gaining ground on Amazon.

“Since Amazon first introduced the Echo, it has built a convincing lead in the US and continues to beat back challenges from top competitors,” said Victoria Petrock, a principal analyst at eMarketer. “We had previously expected Google and Apple to make more inroads in this market, but Amazon has remained aggressive. By offering affordable devices and building out the number of Alexa skills, the company has maintained Echo’s appeal.”

This news isn't exactly a revelation. Amazon was the first one out of the gate with its Echo speakers. Since then, the company routinely puts their devices on sale to practically give them away. Amazon is also making almost anything into an Echo device including a smart ring and glasses. This strategy not only increases market share, but also mind share as consumers will typically think of Amazon when it comes to smart speakers. Increased market share also gives Amazon a "trojan horse" to sell its Prime subscription and services.

It isn't all great news for Amazon, however. While Amazon continues to dominate the smart speaker category, its market share has been trending downward since 2017 while all other brands have been moving upward. Though it seems that smart speaker adoption seems to be leveling out as Amazon and Google put their digital assistants, Alexa and Google Assistant respectively, in other products.

Earlier this year, Sonos filed suit against Google for allegedly stealing its speaker technology. Part of the litigation is frustration by Sonos executives for the way that Amazon and Google market their smart speakers. Customers are more likely to buy a $30-50 Echo Dot or Google Home Mini that sounds decent rather than spend $200 on better sounding Sonos speakers. Amazon also prominently displays its Echo products on the Amazon front page which gives it a distinct advantage over competing smart speakers that are sold on the Amazon storefront.

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dirtyferret

TS Evangelist
The latest figures from analyst firm, eMarketer, confirm that as nearly 70% of the smart speaker market belongs to Amazon. Google holds second place with around 38% while other brands, including Apple's HomePod, Sonos One, and Harmon Kardon Invoke bring up the rear collectively at 18%.


If Amazon has 70%, Google 38% and everyone else 18% then your pie is bigger then 100%...your title says market share but the graph talks about speakers used that's not the same as market share. The opening paragraph needs to be clear.
 

SirDigby

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
Google has been helped massively by distributing their home minis for free to people with a Spotify Family plan, that's how I got mine - I think I'd prefer an Alexa though as you can customise it more and integrate it with more appliances and programme your own sayings to perform XYZ, Google can do some of that but not sure about programming sayings.
 

GregonMaui

TS Booster
But they sound terrible, can they really be called “speakers”? Maybe another category should be used. One for high quality speakers, with assistance, and one for low quality audio devices
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
The latest figures from analyst firm, eMarketer, confirm that as nearly 70% of the smart speaker market belongs to Amazon. Google holds second place with around 38% while other brands, including Apple's HomePod, Sonos One, and Harmon Kardon Invoke bring up the rear collectively at 18%.


If Amazon has 70%, Google 38% and everyone else 18% then your pie is bigger then 100%...your title says market share but the graph talks about speakers used that's not the same as market share. The opening paragraph needs to be clear.
Third party speakers can usually work with either service. It wouldn't be impossible, or unheard of, to have speakers from Amazon and Sonos (both 'running' Alexa) for example. This explains the 'greater than 100%' issue.