New Data: One-in-Six Americans Now Owns a Smart Speaker

January 2018

NPR and Edison Research Release The Smart Audio Report, Fall/Winter 2017

After a surge in holiday sales, one-in-six Americans (16%) now owns a voice-activated smart speaker (1), up 128% from January 2017 (2).

Amazon Alexa smart speaker

Released today, new smart speaker ownership data from NPR and Edison Research confirms the impact the 2017 holiday season had on smart speaker ownership in the U.S.:

  • 7% of Americans report acquiring at least one smart speaker between Black Friday and the end of December 2017
  • For 4% of Americans, that holiday smart speaker was their first

With millions getting to know their new voice-activated tech over the past month, consumer adoption of smart speakers is now on par with – in fact, tracking slightly ahead of – smartphone adoption a decade ago following the release of the Apple iPhone. Three years in, 14% of Americans owned a smartphone (3). That’s compared to the 16% who now own a smart speaker (1).

“Voice-activated speakers are perhaps the most dynamic sector not only in the audio space but in consumer electronics in general. They are increasing access to all manner of digital audio.” – Tom Webster, Sr. VP at Edison Research

These devices continue to impact consumer behavior including time spent with other platforms, including the television. According to the latest Smart Audio Report surveys, 30% of smart speaker owners say their speaker is replacing time spent with TV.

Other key findings from the Fall/Winter 2017 data, which will be presented today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, reveal how smart speakers are fueling adoption of smart technology broadly – including smart home applications (and perhaps soon suit cases) – and voice-first habits specifically. 

Get the Smart Audio Report: Fall/Winter 2017


Google Home is a trademark of Google Inc. 1. The Smart Audio Report, Fall/Winter 2017. Nationally representative telephone of 1,010 persons ages 18+. 2. Edison Research, Share of Ear, 2016, the Podcast Consumer 2017. 3. Edison Research, Infinite Dial 2010.

Smart Speaker Opportunities for Brands with NPR
The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in June 2017, tracks trends in smart speaker ownership and user behavior. A full archive of surveys from the ongoing Report is available at

NPR was the default Flash Briefing provider on Amazon Alexa devices at launch in 2014, and also on both Google Home and Microsoft Cortana devices. NPR will be available on Apple HomePod (forthcoming). The Smart Audio Report is a public resource designed to help inform product design, content and sponsorship for NPR, and people across sectors whose work is impacted by the rise of voice-activation.