Smart Speakers And Their Increasing Relevance.

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Smart Speakers And Their Increasing Relevance.

May 14, 2018 by Mark Maier

Radio stations have now developed skills and engaged Alexa to play their stations on demand, other media properties are looking at ways to engage Smart Speakers and the world is gravitating towards the technology that can even make phone calls and appointments for you with the release of Google Duplex...

"According to a new report from comScore, in a study of Smart Speaker devices, one in every 5 Wi-Fi households in the US owned at least a single Smart Speaker as of February, meaning that Smart Speaker penetration doubled in just 6 months. 

The biggest jump in household penetration came between November (12%) and December (17%) of last year, which comScore attributes to the devices being featured in Black Friday promotions and advertising. For comparison, a new Parks Associates study suggests that 15% of US broadband households owned a Smart Speaker, with a personal assistant, as of Q4 2017, which is generally in line with comScore’s figures.

A growing number of households are also using multiple Smart Speakers, according to comScore’s report. As of February of this year, 3 in 10 Smart Speaker households featured multiple such devices, up from 20% in June 2017. In fact, more than 1 in 10 Smart Speaker households had at least 3 devices as of February.

Smart Speaker Penetration in US WiFi HH



June 2017


July 2017


August 2017


Sept 2017


Oct 2017


Nov 2017


Dec 2017


Jan 2018


Feb 2018


Source: comScore, April 2018

As Smart Speaker penetration expands, the demographics of the households owning them is changing. For example, homes with 35-44-year-olds continue to over-index the average, but by a smaller amount than in months prior. As of February, households with the 35-44 age segment, were 14% more likely than the Wi-Fi household average to own a Smart Speaker, down from a 22% above-average likelihood in October 2017, says the report.

By contrast, says the report, households at the age extremes have become increasingly likely to own a Smart Speaker. Those featuring the 18-24 segment, for example, are now just 9% less likely than the average Wi-Fi household to own a Smart Speaker, up from being 30% less likely in October.

Meanwhile, households featuring adults ages 65 and older are now just 15% less likely than the average Wi-Fi home to own such a device, up from being 22% less likely in October 2017.

Compared to the average WiFi HH. Smart Speaker JJ in Feb 2018 were 14% more likely to have at least one person aged 35-44 in the home..

US Smart Speaker HH Member Ages (Indexed to WiFi HH (100)


Oct 2017

Feb 2018



















Source: Data Source comScore, April 2014

Five interesting findings from comScore’s presentation:

  • Smart Speakers Proving Popular With Middle-Aged, Higher-Income Households
  • Based on a snapshot of penetration during October, comScore reveals that Smart Speakers are more prevalent in households that have at least one member in the 35-44 (index: 122) or 45-49 (index: 111) bracket. 
  • Smartphone Voice Usage is Linked to Smart Speaker Purchase Intent
  • 42% of smartphone voice technology users intent to buy a Smart Speaker, making them almost three times more likely to plan such a purchase than non-voice users (15%).
  • Smart Speaker Owners Aren’t Sold On Using Them For Purchases, Yet
  • Previous research from comScore found fairly limited usage of Smart Speakers for commerce purposes.
  • Smart Speakers Have Wider Adoption Than Wearables
  • In terms of active penetration of various devices in Wi-Fi households during October, Smartphones (90%) and Computers (89%) head the pack, with Tablets (60%) also in a majority of such households. Not far behind, OTT devices are seeing strong penetration, led by Streaming 
  • Smart Speaker Owners Seem Brand-Loyal
  • Finally, comScore points to data indicating that Smart Speaker owners are brand-loyal, at least when it comes to their streaming device purchases.

For additional information about SmartSpeaker owners, please visit Marketing Charts here.


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