In case all those sales on Echo Dots and Google Home Mini's didn't make this a given, it turns out that the number of people who own smart speakers here in the UK has doubled over the past sis months. Or so says a new poll from YouGov.
It seems things are kicking off over here almost the same as they are stateside, with a poll from January claiming one in six American homes had some sort of smart speaker system. According to YouGov, the number of UK homes with at least one such device has risen from 5 per cent in Q3 2017 all the way up to 10 per cent in Q1 2018. It's not quite as high as the Americans, but it's still a pretty spectacular climb.
But then again, when Amazon and Google are discounting their entry level systems every few weeks they're the ideal price for gift-giving or impulse shopping. £35 isn't a small amount of money, but it isn't exactly a lot ether.
The downside to the new figures is that Amazon's dominance is wavering slightly. Ok that's not a downside unless you're Jeff Bezos, but still, the fact that its smart speaker market share has dropped from 88 per cent down to 75 per cent is significant. It's not unreasonable to assume that this is partly down to the launch of the Google Home Mini last October - especially since 9 per cent of those polled said they owned one. There's also the launch of Apple HomePod back in February, and while sales haven't been spectacular its mere presence is going to put a dent in Amazon's market share. There are also plenty of other speakers from companies like SONOS.
As for what people are doing with their speakers, their main function seems to be playing music and answering questions. As you can see most people aren't fond of games, audiobooks, and shopping, instead focussing on little things the speaker can handle slightly faster than a human being.
It's worth mentioning that this is a poll, not a comprehensive study, so the number might waver in reality. Regardless it does show that more people are adopting the tech in their own homes, so it'll be even less surprising when we hear about the next random tech company working on one of their own. [YouGov via TechRadar]