A look at smart speaker adoption in Canada

Media Technology Monitor gets a look into how the young category is growing and who is leading the market.

Voice-controlled, AI-powered speakers and personal assistants are being looked to as the next big disruptor in consumer technology, and a new report from Media Technology Monitor (MTM) seems to show that adoption could be outpacing other forms of tech in their first year.

The results come as the result of survey of 4,163 Canadians on behalf of the Media Technology Monitor in the spring.

Canada’s smart speaker market is relatively young compared to other markets, namely the U.S.: Google Home was only made available in Canada in June of last year, with Amazon Alexa launching here in December. As of the end of Q1 2018 – the first full quarter the two global leaders were available in the Canadian market – 8% of Canadians had some form of smart speaker technology in their home. For comparison, the report points out that adoption of tablets was only at 3% in their first year of availability, while Netflix’s adoption was 6%.

There is also indication that adoption will continue to grow: 14% of those surveyed by MTM who don’t currently own a smart speaker said they are likely to buy one in the next 12 months.

Google Home is leading market share in Canada, with 55% of smart speaker owners (and 5% of the general population) having one, while 22% (or 2% of the general population) own an Alexa. That trend is a break from Amazon’s current lead in the U.S., likely due to Google Home having a nearly six-month head start on Alexa in the Canadian market.

In terms of how people are using the devices, roughly half of current users say their smart speaker is in their living room, while a quarter reported that it is in their kitchen.