The foray of smart speaker market has created ripples of anticipation among modern-day consumers, given that an analogy has always existed between the Internet of Things and consumer preferences. With more and more smart products making inroads in the smart industry, companies have been focusing on using connected devices to raise the efficiency of existing operations by a few notches. Ever since the advent of the smart era, leading tech giants such as Apple and Google have been engaging in a fierce battle to gain the upper hand in terms of smart products’ development. The trend which is perpetually consistent even in today’s business scenario, will be one of the key driving forces behind the growth of smart speaker industry.
Global Smart Speaker Market Share, By Region, 2016
Undeniably, the burgeoning developments in the IoT (Internet of Things) business sphere will bring about a plethora of changes in the perception of smart speaker market. Embedded with varied functionalities, including problem solving, ordering of essential items, live streaming of music, live news reporting, setting reminders, to name a few, smart speakers are indeed the exclusively classy wireless playback devices in vogue. Forbes has rightly quoted smart speakers to be the future of audio, a fact which is likely to catapult smart speaker industry, which, as per analysts, is slated to record a valuation of USD 13 billion by 2024.
Smart speaker market at its pinnacle in the U.S.
The retail magnate Amazon was the first company to pioneer the numero uno smart speaker, called the Amazon Echo, in 2014. The product was officially launched in mid-2015, and from then on began the commercialization of smart speaker industry. Amazon’s Echo since then, has been upgraded numerous times, and with every advancement, the sales and commercialization of the product have soared beyond predicted expectations. For instance, in May 2017, the retail giant launched the Echo Show, designed to provide exclusive features such as flash briefings, online video browsing, video calling, etc., apart from the basic functionalities of Amazon Echo. In addition, a leading tech daily has forecast that Amazon, in all probability will capture tentatively more than 68% of the voice-controlled speaker market in U.S. in 2017, which will eventually lead to the growth of U.S. smart speaker industry share.
Not to be left behind in the race, Google, post Amazon’s successful launch, released its smart speaker, Google Home by the end of 2016. And now, another contender has joined the marathon – Apple is likely to launch its own smart speaker, called HomePod, by the end of 2017, powered by Siri. Considering that these conglomerates are essentially headquartered in the U.S., it comes as no surprise, that U.S. smart speaker market has been forecast to dominate the global industry share over 2017-2024. As per estimates, more than 6.5% of Americans currently own at least one smart speaker, and more than 40% of smart speaker owners possess two or more devices. These estimates prove that the readiness of consumers to adapt to advanced technologies like a fish takes to water will encourage U.S. manufacturers to develop advanced, user-friendly, and multi-functional products, thereby augmenting U.S. smart speaker industry.
Judging by the pace at which smart speaker market players have been progressing, it is evident that smart speakers are likely to become all-pervasive in a few years. As per a reliable forecast, a substantial proportion of households across the world may incorporate a smart speaker in their home by 2020.
While Amazon, Google, and Apple have already established their space in global smart speaker industry, other major corporations, not to be outdone, have joined the quest as well. Currently, some of the popular companies consolidating their position in smart speaker market include Samsung, Sony Corporation, Terratec, Philips, Edifier, and JBL.
Wi-Fi devices have been gaining prominence in global smart speaker industry, owing to the fact that they ensure a reliable, direct connection to the home network. Despite the fact they are expensive and require continuous access to the internet, Wi-Fi enabled smart speaker market is on its way to carve out a profitable growth path. However. Bluetooth devices are no less popular either. In January 2015, Sony declared the launch of high resolution audio devices that enable users to listen to high quality music via Bluetooth. The convenience of Bluetooth technology and its already established prominence across the globe are anticipated to stimulate the development of Bluetooth-enabled smart speaker industry over 2017-2024.
The increasing prevalence of smart homes is another major driver fueling the growth of smart speaker market. Since these homes are efficiently designed to deliver central connectivity between electronic devices, the incorporation of smart speakers in the house will be on an all-time high, a factor which will lead to the massive growth of smart speaker industry worldwide. In addition, these speakers are available in terms of single-room, double-room, and multi-room, depending upon consumer requirements as regards to the accessibility factor. Though estimates claim single-room products to dominate the overall smart speaker market over the next seven years, pertaining to the consumer preferences of handling the speaker from one room only, multi-room products stand tall in terms of garnering popularity and sales in the forthcoming years. Possibly, this growth can be attributed to the convenience offered by these devices in terms of flexibility. These products enable users to control the speaker functionality from multiple rooms via a single device.
This business zone is relatively in its embryonic stage, and yet, tech magnates have been aggressively combating with one another for a chunk of smart speaker industry share. The proliferation of numerous products stand as a testimony to the growth of smart speaker industry in the last few years. Considering the magnitude of the achievements dished out by technology giants, it should come as no surprise if smart speaker market stands to gain a major valuation over the forthcoming years.
Written By : Saipriya Iyer