Google Home sold the most units over the past year’s holiday season due to an earlier release date but has since fallen behind Amazon’s Echo Dot in unit sales.
However, Google Home’s higher price tag, and higher unit sales than the Amazon Echo, do make the device a revenue winner.
Unit sales of voice assistant devices grew 39% year-over-year, according to a new report from Adobe Digital Insights.
Voice assistant technology isn’t a new concept, but with advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, adoption has grown in recent years. In turn, competition in the voice-enabled device market is starting to heat up.
- Read more: Why People Buy Smart Home Technology
The 2016 holiday season, during which voice assistant devices emerged also as popular Christmas, bears that out. Online unit sales of the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices increased dramatically in November and December.
This indicates that devices sales are performing well but have not yet become a standard household purchase.
ADI’s analysis is based on 14.3 billion visits to online retailers from May 2016 to May 2017, measured by Adobe Analytics Cloud, and 14.5 million social mentions around voice assistants and voice assistant devices, tracked by Adobe Marketing Cloud. Additionally, ADI surveyed 397 consumers about voice assistants.
According to the report, Google Home’s release in early November helped spur huge holiday sales, selling more units than the Amazon Echo Dot (by a marginal 3%) over the course of the holidays at nonproprietary retailers. It has since lost ground to the Echo Dot but maintains its lead over the more expensive Echo.
In terms of revenue, however, Google Home maintains a steady lead over all other devices both during and after the holiday at nonproprietary retailers.
It is worth also mentioning that 42% of Amazon Echo users own multiples of the device, according to a report from Edison Research. Owning multiple Echo products makes sense since the line starts at the ultra-affordable Dot and extends up to the Echo Show, which has a security camera-friendly video screen. The variety of devices works for more consumers and pair together better than other companies that have one main type of smart speaker such as Google Home.
Edison Research’s report also shows that homeowners use and enjoy smart speakers with 65% saying they wouldn’t want to return to a pre-smart speaker life.
Not only are the devices selling well, but they are also building a strong community for content creators online. There are currently 778,000 connections to voice assistants on IFTTT (a site that facilitates the customization of internet-connected devices), and that number is growing each year. These types of sites are helping to drive excitement and increased use of voice assistant devices, such as smarthome speakers.
Even with booming holiday sales and growth on sites like IFTTT, the voice assistant market has plenty of room for improvement. Outside of the holiday season, unit sales have seen a respectable 39% growth YoY–but ADI’s consumer survey found that 49% of U.S. consumers still don’t use voice assistants. Half of the potential market still needs convincing that voice assistants are the wave of the future, and companies need to ensure that newcomers have a positive first impression.