The North American smart speaker market has continued to thrive despite the economic devastation caused by COVID-19. Perhaps because many consumers in the United States continue to be encouraged to remain at home as much as possible, spending habits have shifted from entertainment, restaurants and travel to home improvement projects and home comfort.

The North American smart speaker market has continued to thrive despite the economic devastation caused by COVID-19. Perhaps because many consumers in the United States continue to be encouraged to remain at home as much as possible, spending habits have shifted from entertainment, restaurants and travel to home improvement projects and home comfort.

According to the latest North American Smart Speaker Tracker, 2Q20 grew by 178% year over year (YoY). The first six months of 2020 showed growth of about 31% YoY.

blakekozakinformacom_2020_8_6_20_4_37_smart-speakers-2q20-3jpg blakekozakinformacom_2020_8_6_20_4_37_smart-speakers-2q20-3jpg

Amazon continued to dominate smart speaker shipments during 2Q20 with 4.9 million speakers, representing about 57% of the market; while Google had a share of 33%. Meanwhile, Apple performed well with 69% growth YoY. In terms of first half performance, Amazon sold nearly twice as many smart speakers during the first six months of 2020 compared to Google.

For Amazon, the most popular smart speakers were the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Dot (3rd Gen). In total for Amazon, speakers with an MSRP below $100 represented about 74% of shipments during 2Q20, up from about 68% of shipments in 2Q19.  

Smart speakers with a display performed well during 2Q20, with shipments reaching 2.7 million, an increase of 448% YoY. Similarly, agnostic speakers, capable of many voice assistants, surpassed 200 thousand shipments, with growth of 1,260% YoY.

For 2Q20, Sonos was arguably the winner for smart speakers in North America with several announcements that could set the pace for other speaker brands to follow. Specifically, its music streaming service plus attempts to lease its hardware not only to consumers but also small businesses means Sonos looking to pivot quickly to a services approach. Considering the acquisition of Snips last year, Sonos is on a path to become independent of some partnerships, namely Amazon and Google while strengthening its customer loyalty with a refurbished app and possibly more secure, proprietary voice interactions. Despite these announcements from Sonos and Google investing in ADT, Amazon will remain the top smart speaker player for the foreseeable future in the North American market, while these other players will be forced to be more imaginative in order to counter the low-cost Amazon speakers.

blakekozakinformacom_2020_8_6_20_6_58_smart-speakers-2q20-4jpg blakekozakinformacom_2020_8_6_20_6_58_smart-speakers-2q20-4jpg