41 Voice Search Statistics You Need to Hear in 2020

Voice search, digital assistants and smart speakers are buzzwords we’ve been hearing a lot over the past decade. But the industry that helps you stay lazy has been around for longer than that. Back in 1962, the world was impressed with IBM’s Shoebox being able to recognize 16 spoken words and digit names from zero to nine. Voice search statistics show that smart assistants have come a long way since then. These days you can find out dirt on your neighbors, research your local business or even stumble on bizarre info about obscure Norwegian black metal bands without having to lift a finger. It’s a good time to be alive, so let’s dig into some stats!

Key Voice Search Statistics for 2020

  • 50% of all search queries will be voice activated searches by 2020.
  • 32% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile phones.
  • There were around 3.25 billion digital assistants in use on various devices globally in 2019.
  • 72% of people in the US use voice search through a digital assistant.
  • The average voice search length is three to five words.
  • The global smart speaker market is valued at $11.9 billion.

General Voice Search Statistics

1. 50% of all search queries will be voice and image activated searches by 2020.

(Comscore) (Uberall)

Voice search predictions can be difficult to gauge because the industry is changing so quickly.  The aforementioned forecast was originally made in 2014 by then-Chief Scientist at Baidu, Andrew Ng. It was also meant to refer to voice and image searches but has since been frequently misquoted.

Nevertheless, the last few years have shown a steady increase in voice search usage. It is already very popular on mobile devices, which are expected to account for the vast majority of search queries in the future.

Around two thirds of global searches are handled by mobile devices, and Google claimed back in 2016 that around 20% of all mobile searches in the US are voice-based.

Uberall points out that according to Google voice search statistics from 2016, the percentage of searches is closer to 12%. Although this is a far cry from the predicted 50%, we have to keep in mind that voice search is growing in popularity as technology gets more advanced. Fresh data will probably drive those numbers above 15%.


2. Approximately 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020.

(Gartner)

Another rather bombastic prediction came from Gartner in 2016 and envisioned a bright future for smart speakers, wireless headsets and similar products. In reality, things turned out a little different. Although Amazon Echo, Google Home and other smart speakers are gaining in popularity, they are still a minor contributor to voice searches as of 2019. Nevertheless, the smart speaker industry is valued at nearly $12 billion. That number is expected to nearly triple by 2025. We can also add smart wearables with search capabilities to the equation.


3. 42% of the global online population made at least one monthly search by voice in Q1 2019.

(Statista)

According to Statista, 42% of the world’s population made at least one voice search during the first quarter of 2019. Voice search statistics worldwide show that the Asia-Pacific region leads voice searches with 49% while Europe makes the least use of voice technology at only 27%. North America is on the lower end of the spectrum with 35%, followed by the Middle East & Africa with 36% and South America with 39%.


4. 32% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile phones.

(Statista)

The same research by Statista found that during the first quarter of 2019, the majority of those using voice search tools did so from their mobile phones. Personal computers and laptops were used for voice searches by 14% of the population, while tablets were used by 6%. Voice search volume reveals that smart speakers are nowhere near as popular as mobile phones. This can be explained by the fact that very few people own smart speakers compared to mobile devices and personal computers.


5. 57% of users in the United States spoke to or issued voice commands to their smartphones.

(PWC)

According to PWC’s voice search statistics from 2018, mobile phones were the most popular devices in the US when it came to voice searching and commands. 29% of survey respondents used tablets, laptops and desktop computers, while 27% spoke to their smart speakers. TV remotes were mentioned 21% of the time, car navigation systems 20% and smart wearables 14% of the time, revealing their limited contribution to voice activated search statistics.


6. The average voice search length is three to five words.

(Campaign)

Google statistics on voice search voice searches tend to be a little longer and more organic than the ones we type. According to CampaignLive, the average text keyword search includes one to three words, and questions are often shortened to a couple of keywords. Meanwhile, voice searches are generally longer, more organic sounding and typically phrased as questions.


7. Voice searchers tend to use specific long tail keywords in their queries.

(SeoClarity)

When it comes to voice search optimization, SeoClarity underscores the key difference between voice and text searches. Our previous statistics on voice activated searches showed that they tend to be longer than those made when typing. They also tend to ask proper questions, such as “Where can I find the nearest Italian restaurant?”, as opposed to simply typing “Italian restaurant” in a search engine box and expecting locational services to do the rest. Voice search trends in general show a more informal and conversational tone. Thus, long tail keywords with four or more search terms are much more common when compared to traditional text searches.


8. A combination of 25 keywords makes up more than 20% of all voice search queries.

(SeoClarity)

The research cited in the previous statistic also found that a significant volume of voice searches is made up of a common pool of keywords, most of which are questions. The top keyword, unsurprisingly, is HOW, which can be found in 8.64% of all voice based searches. It is followed by WHAT with 5.01% and BEST with 2.63%. The remaining top 25 keywords constitute less than 1% of queries during voice searches and include THE (0.98%), IS (0.70%), WHERE (0.57%), CAN (0.56%) and TOP (0.55%). Naturally, a combination of these contribute to voice search statistics.


9. The average person says 150 words per minute but can only type around 40.

(eMarketer)

EMarketer points out that we speak faster than we type. Even professional typists may at times have trouble keeping up with someone who spoke at an average pace. Therefore, voice recognition software can help us get quicker answers to our queries even if the questions that we ask out loud are usually longer than those we type. The experience will only improve as voice activated assistants get more adept at understanding our speech patterns.


10. 22% of voice searches inquire about local information such as directions, restaurants, services or weather.

(SeoClarity)

According to SeoClarity’s statistics on voice search patterns, just over a fifth of all searches are locally based. People most commonly want to find out about local businesses, get directions, check the weather or find out about traffic conditions on major roads. The rest of the search queries are distributed between personal assistant tasks, entertainment and general purpose search queries. Local businesses should take note of the fact that optimizing their website for voice search could be very beneficial. Unfortunately, as our next stat shows, not many businesses heed such advice.


11. When it comes to voice searches, 96% of businesses fail to list all of their business information correctly.

(Uberall)

Uberall has some truly disheartening voice search stats. Only 3.82% of business locations had no critical errors on their listings for major industry players, Google, Yelp and Bing. The most common errors included opening hours (almost half of the listings), the URL of their website (almost one third), location names (almost a quarter) and even street names, which were wrong on almost one fifth of all the listings. Uberall devised a ranking system called Voice Search Readiness in order to quantify how well optimized businesses are for voice technology. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the roughly 73,000 businesses surveyed received a poor VSR ranking.


12. With a 96.82% voice search readiness score, dentists have the most voice optimized businesses in the industry.

(Uberall)

Speaking of VSR ranking, the average across the industry was a very disappointing 44%. Dentists were the most optimized businesses, followed by the health food sector (96.60%), businesses in the home improvement industry (96.55%), criminal attorneys (91.51%) and dollar stores (90.11%).

On the other end of the spectrum, websites least optimized for voice search tools belong to consumer protection organizations (0.20%), congressional representatives (0.24%), business attorneys (1.29%), art galleries (1.65%) and finally wedding services with a VSR of only 1.90%. Really low scores for public services are not uncommon since these businesses  typically avoid advertising. However, art galleries, wedding services and similar poorly optimized businesses would presumably get a lot more customers if they took a closer look at their voice search statistics and decided to improve their search engine optimization strategy.

Digital Assistant Statistics

13. There are around 3.25 billion digital assistants in use on various devices globally.

(Statista)

According to Statista’s voice assistant statistics, over 3 billion people make use of digital assistants worldwide mostly through their smartphone and tablet devices. Statista expects this figure to grow substantially in the coming years, hitting 4 billion in 2020, 5 billion in 2021, 6.4 in 2022 and a whopping 8 billion by 2023. That number is actually higher than the current global population and underscores the potential popularity of voice assistants. However, the findings should be taken with a grain of salt since it’s impossible to quantify such high numbers without making sweeping generalizations.


14. IBM’s Shoebox was the world’s first digital speech recognition tool and it could recognize 16 words and digit names from zero to nine.

(IBM)

IBM’s invention wowed the world in 1962. It was a step up from Audrey, manufactured by Bell Labs ten years prior, which could recognize spoken digit sequences. Shoebox used a microphone and converted vocal sounds into electrical impulses. A measuring circuit was used to quantify these impulses into various types of sounds and a relay was then used to activate an attached adding machine. It took another decade for Carnegie Mellon to unveil the Harpy, a machine capable of understanding a whopping 1,011 words. In 1990, Dictate launched Dragon Dictate, the first consumer version of speech recognition software. By 1996, IBM again raised the bar with MedSpeak, the first commercial product capable of recognizing continuous speech. Finally, Google launched the Voice Search App for Apple’s iPhone devices in 2008 and Apple itself introduced Siri, the world’s first voice activated assistant in 2014.


15. 72% of Americans use voice search through a digital assistant.

(Microsoft)

Microsoft’s research shows that despite the growing popularity of smart speakers, the majority of people utilizing voice search prefer to use their voice activated assistant of choice. Nearly two thirds of the respondents in the survey mentioned voice assistants as one of the main tools for voice search. In comparison, only about 35% used a home smart speaker for the same purpose, although 52% used them for voice skills or actions, such as playing music. Interestingly enough, even smart TVs and other miscellaneous smart home devices came out ahead of voice activated speakers with 36% of those surveyed naming them as a method to conduct voice searches. Meanwhile, 31% of the respondents gave vocal commands to a vehicle.


16. Among voice controlled digital assistants, Siri and Google Assistant share the top spot with 36% US market share each.

(Microsoft)

This is a battle of Siri vs Google Assistant. Google and Apple dominated this category, edging out Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. 36% of those interviewed used Apple’s Siri and the same percentage of Americans use Google’s very popular Assistant. Amazon’s Alexa came in a distant third with 25%, followed by Cortana’s 19%. The percentages can be explained by the fact that the most common voice activated devices tend to be mobile phones and computers. Most people use the assistant that comes pre-installed with their system, clarifying the massive popularity behind Google Assistant and Siri – default voice assistants for Android phones IOS devices.

This also shows us why a decidedly ill-optimized and not terribly feature-rich Cortana receives so much attention. This is the default assistant on all personal computers using Microsoft’s Windows 10 platform. As for Alexa, despite Amazon being an absolute leader in the smart speaker market, their overall contribution to voice search trends in 2019 is lagging behind Apple and Google. Siri statistics show a downward trend in recent years, but it’s still unlikely that it will lose much more of the market thanks to the popularity of iPhones.


17. When it comes to digital assistants on mobile phones, Siri holds the largest chunk of the US market with 44%.

(Voicebot)

According to Voicebot’s voice search mobile statistics for 2019, Siri is still a powerhouse in the mobile market. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple’s dominance of the American electronics market has an effect on voice assistant statistics as well.

The 193 million installed iPhone units on the domestic market as of March 2019, explains why nearly half of the respondents in Voicebot’s survey mentioned Siri as their voice activated software of choice on mobile devices.

Google Assistant came in second with 30%. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Alexa did surprisingly well with 17%, considering that it was only recently made available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. It was previously exclusive to Amazon’s smart speaker devices such as Echo. There is really no contest when it comes to the battle of Siri vs Alexa. But the 13% lead the Assistant has over Alexa has been shrinking recently as Amazon made its voice activated assistant available on both mobile platforms and Windows 10. Alexa statistics are improving in general, but the virtual assistant is unlikely to overtake Google Assistant or Siri anytime soon.


18. 80% of consumers are satisfied with their digital assistants.

(Microsoft)

According to Microsoft’s report, people are generally pretty pleased with their voice activated assistants. Four fifths of the respondents in Microsoft’s survey said they were somewhat or very pleased with their assistants, while 14% felt neutral about them. Only around 6% expressed dissatisfaction, based largely on privacy and security concerns or bugs. Google voice recognition technology has come a long way in the last few years and the other big companies are following suit. Therefor, miscommunication between the digital assistants and users are rare these days.


19. 41% of people have privacy and security concerns about their digital assistants.

(Microsoft)

When it comes to security concerns, around two fifths of those interviewed by Microsoft were worried about data protection and security.

52% were worried that their personal information not being secure, while 41% thought that someone might be recording or listening to their conversations. 36% said that they do not want their personal data used at all, while 31% believe data gathered by voice enabled devices doesn’t stay private. Meanwhile, 24% were worried about how their personal information is being used and 14% said they do not trust the companies behind the voice assistant. This is perhaps a surprisingly low number given Google’s dominance of the market and all the controversy surrounding the gathering and sale of personal data.

Apple, on the other hand, has a track record of fighting even the FBI to uphold its promise about data privacy, famously refusing to allow for the hacking of a terrorist’s iPhone. Nevertheless, it does allow advertisers to target users based on their history in the App Store and News app, albeit on a much smaller scale than competitors such as Google and Facebook.


20. People aged 25-49 are the most frequent voice assistant users.

(PWC)

PWC’s research split their respondents into three age groups: 18-24, 25-49 and those over 50. The respondents were asked to quantify how often they speak to their voice controlled digital assistants. Light users were those that spoke to their voice assistants a few times a year, medium users did it several times a month and heavy users at least once daily. According to the survey’s voice assistant stats, the 25-49 age group had the highest percentage of heavy users, with 65% reporting that they talk to their voice assistants at least once a day. The same was true for 59% in the 18-24 bracket, and a surprisingly 57% of those over 50. Light usage made up a tiny fraction of the overall statistics (between 3% and 8%), revealing that people who have actually adopted voice assistants tend to make fairly frequent use of them.


21. 68% of people using digital assistants use them to search for a quick fact.

(Microsoft)

Microsoft’s research is geared towards gathering a wealth of voice search statistics, including usage patterns and general consumer behavior. It turned out that the majority of people need their assistants to quickly check out a fact or find out something new. It’s not a surprising statistic considering that its much faster to look something up with the help of a voice activated assistant as opposed to Googling it the traditional way. It’s frequently used for finding directions with 65% of users relying on their virtual assistants to get around. Searching for products and services was the third most popular voice interaction, mentioned 52% of the time. That was followed by searching for a business (47%), researching a product or service (44%), making a shopping list (39%) comparing products and services (31%) and adding items to the shopping cart (26%).

As we can see from these voice search trends, assistants are most commonly used to look up facts, get directions or research businesses and products before shopping.


22. 46% of US consumers used voice search at least once a day for finding information on local businesses.

(BrightLocal)

BrightLocal’s research lines up nicely with what Microsoft found. Local businesses are searched on a daily basis by nearly half of all voice search users. 28% said they search their local businesses at least once a week, 9% do it monthly, 7% quarterly and roughly 10% about once a year.

Most people search for their local businesses on a smartphone (56%), while the lowest percentage refers to people that do it on smart speakers (18%). Desktops and tablets sit in the middle with 28% and 26% respectively.


23. 71% of US consumers prefer using voice assistants to traditional search methods, but only 24% prefer using them when shopping online.

(PWC)

An interesting set of statistics about voice search comes from PWC’s survey. Over two thirds of consumers find digital assistants the quickest way to look facts up. This lines up nicely with Microsoft’s own research, which found that 68% of people use their voice assistants to look up a quick fact. Another scenario in which people favor voice assistants is texting a friend. Here 58% of the respondents preferred to enlist the help of digital assistants, rather than doing it manually.

On the other hand, even though pre-shopping research was a popular voice assistant task, people still prefer the more traditional methods when it comes to doing the actual shopping. 64% would rather visit a physical store, while 65% of people would rather use a mobile app than a voice assistant when shopping online. Using traditional online shopping platforms such as Amazon through a computer or mobile device browser was even more popular with only 24% of people preferring to utilize voice search apps instead.


24. When it comes to shopping with the help of voice assistants, takeout and groceries are at the top of the list.

(PWC)

PWC also asked respondents whether they have or plan to buy certain products with the help of voice activated assistants. Just over a third of the respondents said yes to both questions. Meanwhile, 31% of voice assistant users were already relying on their virtual helper for grocery shopping and another 27% planned to do so in the future. Books were next in line with a  24/23% split, followed by homecare products and consumer electronics (22/26%). Restaurant and ticket reservations (not travel-related) stood at 16% while double that number said they would consider it in the future.

Only 3% bought clothes using their assistants, but 22% said they might consider it in the future. Rounding off our voice activated search statistics are travelling reservations and ticket purchases. These were not bought with the help of virtual assistants by any of the respondents in PWC’s survey. However, 26% said they might consider it in the future.


25. 57% of people prefer using their digital assistants exclusively through voice commands.

(Microsoft)

Microsoft’s report reveals another interesting trend. People who use voice technology tend to prefer it precisely because they don’t have to type anymore.

As such, only 9% of people type their requests when communicating with their digital assistant, while 34% like to mix it up, using both voice and typed queries. As voice recognition software improves and assistants become more proficient at reading voice patterns and accents, expect these numbers to tilt towards voice-only in the future.


26. 73% of drivers will use in-car voice assistants by 2022.

(Voicebot)

Car assistants have been growing in popularity in recent years. We’ve already established that location searches and directions account for a large portion of voice search usage globally. The other popular use is playing music. It’s therefore no surprise that in-car navigation systems are becoming widely used, especially as they become more commonly available in standard packages for most manufacturers. According to Voicebot’s statistics for 2019, 49% of drivers are currently using in-car voice assistants – just under half of the drivers surveyed. This means that there is still a lot of room for growth in the next three years.

The most significant improvement is expected when it comes to using a voice assistant in the car to book a car service appointment. Currently, only 24% of consumers use voice activated assistants for this purpose, while the number is expected to rise to 74% by 2022. Integration with home-based voice technology is also expected to skyrocket. Moreover, ordering specific services such as groceries and takeout, which currently sits at 45%, is expected to climb to 72% by 2022.


27. Alexa currently possesses over 100,000 voice-driven skills.

(Statista)

Voice controlled digital assistants have come a long way from their humble beginnings. In addition to helping us search for things on the Internet faster, they also have many miscellaneous capabilities, from playing music to interfacing with kitchen appliances or apps in order to expedite everyday tasks.

When it comes to Alexa, the various abilities that it has learned over time are called skills. When this popular digital assistant made its debut in January of 2016 it only had 130. These days it has over 100,000. These include everything from productivity tools such as organizers and notebooks, to voice-based games and music related software.

If we compare Alexa vs Siri it has some unique skills that function differently than the standard apps used by other assistants. You can also create new skills with the Amazon Skills kit. Alexa shows no signs of slowing down, and thousands of new skills are being developed as you are reading this.


28. Google Assistant is available on more than 400 million devices worldwide.

(Google Blog)

According to Google Assistant statistics provided by the company, the popular digital assistant is available across a variety of Android devices including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, TV’s and yes, even Apple devices. It’s worth remembering that like Siri for IOS devices, it is also the default assistant for almost all Android devices.

Google also added support for Actions earlier in 2019, a system inspired by Alexa’s skills that’s meant to take your digital assistant interactions to a new level. There is also support for a huge and ever-growing number of languages. Google has been following the statistics on voice search growth rates carefully, and has big plans for dethroning its main competitor Siri in the future.


29. Over 70% of requests on Google Assistant are expressed in natural language.

(Think with Google)

Remember how we talked about the differences between text and voice searches? Well, Google voice search usage statistics reaffirm the established trend. While text searches tend to be shorter and more succinct, often omitting parts of sentences in order to input key terms (“best restaurant Belmont”), voice search queries are often more organic and asked in natural-sounding language. People can often formulate entire questions such as “Where can I find the best restaurant in Belmont?” quicker than they can type the shortened version in the search bar. According to research, the average voice search user also likes to think of their assistant as a friend who they can ask a question as they would another person. With all this in mind, businesses looking to optimize for voice technology should be aware that strategies aimed at traditional SEO optimization might need to be changed significantly when optimizing websites for voice users.

Smart Speaker Statistics

30. The global smart speaker market is valued at $11.9 billion.

(Statista)

Voice controlled digital assistants become more and more sophisticated each year. However, the majority of people still prefer using them on their mobile devices as opposed to getting a dedicated assistant through a smart speaker device. After all, the ones that come with your Android, IOS or Windows installation are free, while you need to pay for a smart speaker.

Voice activated speakers might not be nearly as popular as smartphones these days, but the industry is still growing at a rapid rate. We’ve come a very long way since Siri was first introduced in 2012, not to mention the first speech recognition software created by IBM in 1961. Voice search technology statistics show a constant growth trend in the past few years and future estimates have the industry growing to $35.5 billion by 2025. Currently there are around 76 million in US households and 50% of US homes are predicted to have smart speakers by 2022.


31. Amazon is the leading smart speaker vendor with 30% of the global market share.

(Statista)

Unsurprisingly, Amazon dominates the smart speaker market with its Echo line of devices. Amazon revolutionized the industry by introducing the original Echo to its Prime subscribers back in 2014, and although many competitors have since joined the game, none are close to dethroning Amazon. Google probably comes closest with 17% of market share for its Google Home assistant. However, Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi have also been growing in popularity. With China representing the largest potential market for digital assistants and smart speakers, it’s no surprise that budget options from their major manufacturers are carving out big chunks of the market for themselves.

Amazon has been keeping tabs on market trends and recently released the latest addition to its line of products. Amazon Echo Show is a smart screen assistant which added a display to the existing Echo functions, significantly expanding its potential usage scenarios.


32. There are currently 76 million smart speakers installed in US households.

(Marketing Land)

Smart speaker statistics in the United States are even more favorable to Amazon. Chinese brands haven’t really made a dent there yet. Alexa devices account for nearly 70% of the 76 million smart speakers in the US, followed by Google Home (25%). Apple’s HomePad is not terribly popular with only 5%, which can probably be explained by the fact that Siri fans prefer using the popular assistant on their iPhones or iPads. Estimates about the actual number of devices installed in the US vary from survey to survey. Some even put the number at around 100 million. However, they all agree that there has been an observable growth trend.


33. By 2022, smart speakers will be in 55% of US households.

(OC&C Strategy Consultants) (Statista)

According to OC&C, smart speakers will be adopted by more than half of US households in 2022. That number is slightly lower in the UK with 48%. This is a significant increase compared to 2017’s 13% in the US and 10% in the UK.

Voice search technology statistics gathered by Statista suggest that by 2025 as many as three quarters of all households in the US will have at least one smart speaker. This number does seem a bit exaggerated from today’s perspective. But bear in mind that these estimates include smart screen devices such as Amazon Echo Show, which are basically smart speakers with the added benefit of additional touchscreens. These devices bridge the gap between traditional smartphone assistants and smart speakers, and will probably contribute greatly to the popularity of dedicated assistant devices in the future.


34. 53% of US smart speaker owners are between the ages of 18 to 36, and 60% of them are male.

(CapTech)

According to a  CapTech survey, half of those using smart speakers in the US are millennials and Gen Z. 32% are Gen X (37-52) and 14% are baby boomers or older (53+). These voice search stats are interesting when we consider that PWC found the heaviest digital assistant users belong to the 25-49 age group. Over two thirds of the people surveyed in this age group (covering a large portion of both millenials and Gen X) said they use their voice activated assistants at least once a day. What can we conclude from these statistics? Basically, younger people are more likely to adopt new technologies, but slightly older people tend to use the devices more often. Finally, older people are the least likely to both buy and make frequent use of digital assistants and smart speakers. Another voice search statistic that probably won’t surprise too many people: smart speakers, like many other tech gadgets, are more popular with men.


35. 52.6% of smart speaker owners in the US have a higher education and 58% of them make over $75,000 a year.

(CapTech)

According to CapTech, surveyed smart speaker owners tend to have a higher education and earn more money than those who do not own smart speakers. These smart speaker statistics show that smart gadgets are typically sought by tech-savvy individuals working in the IT industry, who tend to be better educated and have higher salaries.


36. Smart speaker owners are more likely to be married and have children.

(CapTech)

One of the more interesting smart speaker stats from CapTech’s research reaffirms that while younger people might be more inclined to buy tech gadgets in general, smart speakers tend to be most popular with American couples who have children.

73.5% of those who said they possess a smart speaker also said they were married, while 68% said they have children. Meanwhile, the number of homeowners who use smart speakers stands at 77% compared to the 63% who do not.


37. According to 43% of US shoppers, Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot are the most wanted smart speakers.

(Microsoft)

In addition to various voice search statistics, Microsoft’s report also looked at smart speakers, and which of these devices consumers would like to own. According to their survey, Amazon’s standard and mini sized Echo devices were the most coveted smart speaker devices with 43% of the respondents saying they would like to get one. Both numbers are up from 2018 when 38% wanted the Echo and only 26% the Echo Dot. Google’s Home and Home Mini were behind, but both saw a decrease compared to last year’s numbers. Interest in Home Mini dropped from 36% to 31% year-over-year, while Google Home saw a massive drop from being last year’s most desired smart speaker at 58% to a mere 17%.

Harman Kardon Invoke completes the list with a drop of one percentage point from its 6% in 2018. All other speakers, including Apple’s HomePod were at 26%, which was admittedly a big increase from last year’s 4%. Much to Apple’s dismay, though, the difference wasn’t really attributed to a large increase in interest for their devices but rather the proliferation of new cheap alternatives from Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Baidu. Smart screens or devices that are basically smart speakers with touch screens are not as popular as traditional smart speakers. Microsoft’s data from 2018 shows that only 12% were interested in Echo Show.


38. 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers use them on a daily basis.

(Think with Google)

There was a time not too long ago when a lot of people might have wondered what is voice search or how to turn on voice search. According to voice search statistics by Google, the majority of those who have adopted smart speaker technology are avid users, who incorporate them into their daily routine. There are nearly 80 million smart speakers in US homes and by 2022 over half of all households will have at least one. At the moment, we can estimate that around 15% to 20% of homes have at least one smart speaker. But those who buy them tend to use them frequently, making the technology part of their everyday lives.


39. 28% of US smart speaker owners use it primarily to listen to music, while 15% use them mostly to search for information.

(CapTech)

Respondents to CapTech’s survey were asked about their typical smart speaker usage scenarios. It turned out that nearly a third use them primarily for playing music, while around 15% mostly rely on voice activated assistants to find out a quick fact. The third most popular use was shopping with 12% of the respondents saying it was their favorite way to use their smart speakers. These three were the most commonly mentioned activities of the entire survey with 82% mentioning music, 42% info gathering and 39% shopping. These stats are certainly interesting if we consider that people using traditional voice controlled digital assistants on smartphones do not really like shopping in this manner.


40. 52% of people in the US keep their smart speakers in the common room of the house.

(Think with Google)

According to Google’s research, voice activated speakers are most commonly placed in the family or living room of a household. This makes sense since this room is likely the busiest. 25% of the respondents said they keep theirs in the bedroom where it presumably acts as an alarm clock and can play soothing tunes to help you sleep. Finally, 22% said the kitchen where aspiring chefs are likely looking for help with recipes or searching for groceries online. The majority prefer to have their speakers in a room where it can be used by several family members.


41. 41% of people who own a voice activated speaker claim that talking to them feels the same as speaking to a friend or another person.

(Think with Google)

One of the main reasons why voice assistants were initially conceived was to help speed up everyday tasks. One perhaps unexpected reason why they became so popular was because they provided a lot of people with the sense of camaraderieship. Technological advances made AI and voice recognition software more human-like in their interactions. We already mentioned that people using voice search tend to ask full questions and use natural language. Combine this with the fact that voice assistant technology is getting better every day and it’s easy to see why nearly half of smart speaker users already feel like they’re having a conversation with a friend rather than a machine algorithm.

FAQ

  • What percentage of searches are voice?

Around 15%. There are many bombastic figures floating around the Internet these days like the famously misquoted 50% from the former Chief Scientist at Baidu, Andrew Ng. He said in 2014 that 50% of all search queries would be voice activated by 2020, but was also referring to image searches. More realistic estimates about voice search stand at around 12-15% of all global search traffic.

  • What is voice search used for?

Voice search is mostly used as an efficient way to find a quick fact or check some information online. According to Microsoft’s research, more than two thirds of voice search users rely on it to find out quick facts or get directions. Other popular uses of voice technology include researching and comparing businesses and products online.

  • How many people have a voice assistant?

According to Statista there are 3.25 billion digital assistants in use across various smart devices around the world. When talking about dedicated voice assistant devices such as smart speakers, there are at least 76 million installed in US households in 2019 alone.

  • How do I turn on voice search on Google?

Open the Google app on your mobile device, click on Settings>More>Voice and tap “Voice Match” under “OK Google”. Then turn on “Access with Voice Match”, and you can use your voice to search by tapping the microphone icon or saying “OK Google”.

  • How many people use Siri and Alexa?

Siri has 36% of US market share, while Alexa has 25%. But Alexa dominates the global market. According to Microsoft’s  voice search statistics, Siri and Google Assistant are each used by 36% of American consumers, while Alexa boasts a user base of around 25%. Globally, though, Alexa and Google Assistant are leading the voice activated assistant market. According to Statista, back in 2017 two thirds of the market was using Alexa, but these days Google Assistant is slowly taking over the market. Cortana is also still around thanks to the fact that it comes pre-installed with all Windows 10 systems.

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