A study from Juniper Research has found that smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the Sonos One will be installed in over 70 million US households by 2022, reaching 55 per cent of all homes. Total installed devices will exceed 175 million.
Juniper forecasts that Voice Assistant devices across all platforms – smartphones, tablets, PCs, speakers, connected TVs, cars and wearables, will reach 870 million devices in the US by 2022, an increase of 95 per cent over the 450 million estimated for 2017.
Omni-platform assistants & multi-assistant platforms to proliferate
The research also found that the ability to pass information between device platforms will become critical for digital assistants in future, due to many users engaging multiple assistants. However, despite rising numbers of smart home assistants, Juniper forecasts that most voice assistant usage will be on smartphones, with over 5 billion in use globally by 2022.
The research found a growing trend for devices with multiple assistants (eg, Google Assistant and Cortana being available on the same speaker). The current experience with multi-assistant devices is unwieldy, and Juniper argues that hardware and software vendors need to make cross-assistant usage smoother and more intuitive.
Voice assistant ad-spend to reach $19bn by 2022
The research notes that end-user monetisation is uncertain for digital voice assistants, with most either provided for free or only charging developers for language processing.
Juniper believes that advertising is the biggest revenue opportunity for voice assistants, forecasting ad-spend to reach nearly $19 billion globally by 2022; although it is not without pitfalls:
“Voice-based interaction presents less options than other forms of advertising, meaning less adverts are possible”, notes 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.”