Amazon still has a tight grip on the U.S., home smart speaker market.
Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) published a new report today from its latest “home automation devices” study that shows Amazon and its Echo products with a 76 percent U.S. market share, compared to 24 percent for Google and its Google Home device. That’s in line with a study earlier this year from eMarketer.
CIRP also estimates 15 million Amazon Echo units sold across the U.S., which is up from 10.7 million in March and 5.1 million this past November, according to data from CIRP.
Amazon first entered the smart home speaker scene two years ago with its original Echo device; it now also sells different models like the $49.99 Echo Dot, which accounts for more than 50 percent of Echo products in the wild, CIRP noted.
Google released its Google Home device in November. It retails for $129.99; the flagship Echo sells for $179.99. Apple also has its own smart home speaker, the HomePod, which sells for $349 starting in December.
“Google captured meaningful share, yet Amazon’s two-year head start allowed Echo to establish the dominant market position,” noted Josh Lowitz, co-founder of CIRP.
CIRP surveyed 300 U.S. owners of an Amazon Echo or Google Home device (as of June 30) for its report. Its methodology also includes a proprietary model of Amazon consumer behavior based on quarterly survey data.
The firm found that across all smart home speaker owners, listening to music is the most frequently used feature, followed by asking questions, setting timers/alarms, and controlling home automation technology.
Amazon nor Google reports unit sales for the Echo or Home. Amazon said this past December that Echo sales were up 9X compared to previous holiday season.
Google Home is powered by Google’s search engine, while Amazon Echo is powered by the company’s Alexa platform. Alexa is finding its way onto devices built by other companies — for example, check out GE’s new Sol lamp that GeekWire reviewed today.
Wirecutter just published a detailed review comparing Echo vs. Home.
“Both products are pretty good at playing music when you ask them to, but the Echo’s two-year head start means it can do more things, especially for controlling smart-home gear,” it noted. “But the best smart speaker for your home can vary depending on your priorities, the stuff you already have, and the services you already subscribe to.”