Amazon Echo, Google Home lead way, as one in six Americans now own a smart speaker

Smart speaker adoption has grown leaps and bounds over the past year.

According to new survey from NPR and Edison Research, one in six American adults, or about 39 million people, now own a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home , up 128 percent from January 2017. The survey, conducted over the phone and online in November and December, revealed that most people who own a smart speaker really like it, too: 65 percent say they wouldn't want to go back to their life without one.

Smart speakers are having an impact on the amount of time people spend watching TV, listening to the radio, and playing on their smartphones, the survey found. Thirty percent of smart speaker owners said the device has caused them to watch less TV, while 39 percent are listening to traditional AM and FM radio less often, and 34 percent are spending less time on their smartphone. Meanwhile, 71 percent are listening to more audio since getting their smart speaker.

Voice-activated smart speakers are also "fueling adoption of smart technology … including smart home applications," the survey authors wrote. About a third of smart speaker owners who participated in the survey said they used the device to control other smart home devices.

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Meanwhile, market research firm comScore recently revealed that owning a smart speaker may lead people to buy other smart home gadgets like connected thermostats and lights. Households with a smart speaker are 6.6 times more likely than households without one to also use connected lighting systems, comScore said. Those in smart speaker households are also 3.3 times as likely to use home automation hubs, 2.2 times more likely to use connected thermostats, 1.9 times more likely to wear a smartwatch, 1.5 times more likely to own a media streaming device, and 1.4 times more likely to own a smart TV.

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