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Alexa, How Many Homes Have a Smart Speaker?

Forecast: More than half of all American homes will have a speaker-based digital assistant by 2022. Question arises: How can we make money off the smart speaker?

David Royse | LedeTree

“Alexa, how does the other half live?”

Alexa: “I don’t know – I’m not in their house. At least not yet.”

By 2022, however, more than half of all American homes will have a “smart speaker,” such as Amazon Echo, Google Home or the Sonos One, says a new report out Wednesday from Juniper Research.

Juniper says more than 70 million households in the United States will have a smart speaker by then. Factor in phones, tablets, PCs, cars and wearables and Juniper says more than 870 million smart devices will be in use in the United States – an increase of 95 percent over the 450 million estimated to be currently in use.

In fact, the forecast says most voice assistant usage will be on mobile smartphones, not in-home voice assistant devices. Juniper forecasts that more than 5 billion smartphones with voice assistant programs will be in use around the world by 2022.

Amazon launched Echo in 2014 and Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others quickly began working on digital assistants.

Juniper’s report, Digital Voice Assistants: Platforms, Revenues & Opportunities 2017-2022, also points to a growing trend for devices to have multiple assistants. For example, a device may be able to answer your question with Google Assistant and Cortana.

So, besides being able to get answers to your questions without typing, what does this mean?

For one thing, a new opportunity for advertisers, says Juniper.

“One of the key challenges for voice assistants is how to monetize the platform,” the company says in a white paper on advertising.

Paid search results and other forms of advertising may eventually be part of the answer, Juniper says.

“In order for such requests to be monetized, product companies will ultimately be the ones providing results, and paying to do so as part of their brand image,” Juniper says. “A voice-based equivalent of Google’s Answer Box, which can be affiliated to a particular company, could be paid for in the same way that paid ads appear at the top of a search webpage.”

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Juniper forecasts that spending on voice assistant ads could reach $19 billion by 2022.

Companies will have to shift the way they think of advertising, though, as they often do with a new medium, says Juniper research author James Moar.

“Not all voice interactions are product searches, meaning advertisers will need to adjust their strategies to build a brand’s voice strategy around information provision as well as sales,” Moar said in a statement released with the forecast.

“OK, Google. Don’t Give Me Any Ads.”

Google: “Without ads, how will I be paid?”

Silence.

Google: “Here are some advertisements for ad-blocking companies.”

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About David Royse

David Royse
David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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