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Books, Music, & Video

Voice-activated speaker sales up 80 percent as streaming music bellwether Spotify plans IPO

by Arye Zucker - April 25, 2018

Image credit: Photo by Andres Urena on Unsplash

The timing of yesterday’s news that Spotify is planning to go public, despite being on the wrong end of a a $1.6 billion lawsuit, baffled industry watchers. But data from Slice Intelligence identifies a powerful tailwind for the streaming music company: sales of voice-powered speakers are up 80 percent year-over-year, with the average person buying more than one of these devices.

Sure, these devices are a Trojan Horse for the likes of Google and Amazon to control your home and everything you consume there. But while we wait for that future, they are being used to play a lot of music, which requires a subscription from a company like Spotify if you want to fully control the music playing in your home.

Smallest speakers deliver the biggest volume

According to data from more than five million online shoppers, the Amazon Echo Dot had the best 2017 with 70 percent growth and 54 percent market share of voice-powered speakers, far and away the biggest. In the second-place slot was the Google Home Mini with 51 percent growth and 16 percent market share. The Amazon Echo holds 13.5 percent of the market, but its growth declined 18 percent year-over-year.

Consumers buy up voice-powered speakers on repeat

Every voice-powered speaker we looked at sold more than one unit per buyer. Both the Amazon Echo and Google Home product lines were the most oft-purchased devices, with the Echo Show, Echo Dot, and Google Home Mini selling over a unit and a half per buyer.

Consumers are turning into repeat buyers of voice-powered speakers

Every device measured sells more than one device per buyer.

Lower prices draw buyers to Amazon Echo and Google Home

In 2017, the average price buyers paid for their voice-powered speakers seemed to dictate how well those speakers sold. For example, the average price paid for the Echo dot was $37.05, second only to the Google Home Mini’s $28.80, and they are the owners of the two highest market shares, units per buyer, and overall growth for the year. Meanwhile, the Sonos One and Google Home Max, two of the most expensive devices, fell way behind in market share and units per buyer.

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot pace unit sales for voice-powered speakers

But Google Home Mini makes some noise during the holiday season

About this data

With a panel of 5 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.