In today’s digitally-enabled environment, you’ve probably heard the name “Alexa” being uttered a few times, followed by commands such as “show me movie times,” “play some music,” or “tell me a joke.” So, what exactly is Amazon Alexa?
Dubbed as Amazon’s most popular invention thus far, Alexa is an intelligent voice assistant much like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. But, of course, you can only summon Alexa if you have an Alexa-enabled device such as Amazon Echo — a brand of smart, hands-free speakers.
That said, when you talk to Alexa, you are actually communicating with a cloud-based service. Alexa is just the word used to “wake up” the service so it can listen to your voice and follow your commands.
According to Amazon Alexa statistics, their digital assistant is getting smarter by the day, making it a worthwhile addition to smart homes. As such, there’s so much more to this voice service than just doing menial tasks. To learn more about Alexa, her skills, and other relevant trends, read on!
Most Amusing Stats and Facts on Amazon’s Alexa
- Amazon Alexa accounted for 62% of the worldwide digital assistant market share in 2017, as per Alexa sales statistics.
- In 2019, Amazon led the smart speaker market, shipping 10.4 million units worldwide.
- January 2016, Alexa only had 130 skills; three years later, her skills surpassed the 100,000-mark.
- Alexa is known to have a great sense of humor and can amuse you with short stories, jokes, and interesting trivia.
- Alexa can scare burglars off when the Echo is in the “Away” mode.
Alexa Market Share Overview
Amazon Alexa Statistics
1. As many as 10,000 of Amazon’s employees are engaged with the company’s Alexa Smart Assistant and Echo products.
Amazon’s Head of Devices, Dave Limp voiced the number, and Amazon’s Vice President of Devices, Steve Rabuchin confirmed it. Alexa Smart Assistant and Echo products occupy 10,000 of Amazon’s employees.
They are primarily working on making Alexa more knowledgeable through machine learning, annotating data to make the statistical models better, and other technical Alexa statistics. While other teams are working on things that give Alexa personality.
2. 33% of US adults cite concerns about smart speakers recording what they are saying as a top reason for not purchasing the devices, a figure that has more than doubled since 2018.
Americans value their privacy. The concerns of smart speakers recording what they are saying have only increased over the years. One out of every three American consumers stated this to be the reason they do not want to purchase these devices.
This 33% statistic has doubled since 2018, when only 16% of American consumers were concerned about privacy from smart speakers, and increased from 23% in 2019.
This rising concern is affecting the entire smart speaker industry because consumers are becoming increasingly reluctant to buy their products.
3. Total Alexa skills now exceed 77,000 in the US, 37,000 in the UK, 34,000 in India, and over 25,000 in Australia and Canada.
Alexa skills have certainly increased since its introduction in 2014. Countries like the US have seen Alexa now exceed 77,000 skills while the UK and India saw 37,000 and 34,000 respectively. Australia and Canada saw over 25,000. This is partly due to the increase of Amazon Echo usage in these regions.
4. However, the growth rate of new Alexa skill introductions has plummeted in each of these countries over the past 2 years. This suggests lower developer enthusiasm for the platform.
Developer enthusiasm and interest in the platform has dropped in the past 2 years. Subsequently, the growth rate of new Alexa skill introductions in various regions has dropped significantly as well. This decrease in developer interest has also been disrupting Amazon Echo’s future plans.
5. Amazon publicly stated that there are over 100,000 unique Alexa skills globally. In numerous messages to developers, the company has indicated a focus in recent years on the number of quality skills over quantity.
Over the years, many consumers have asked “how many Alexa skills are there?”, to which Amazon responded and publicly stated that there are over 100,000 unique Alexa skills globally.
Although third-party developer interests have significantly dropped in the past few years, Amazon has been telling developers to focus on the quality skills in recent years, rather than the number of skills.
6. Although Amazon has introduced developer rewards to new countries over the past two years, it has changed the allocation formula and scaled back payouts in the US and UK according to several sources. The goal is to create incentives for developers to add in-skill purchasing (ISP) monetization such as one-time game packs and subscriptions.
The developer rewards program has been expanding in India last year and in Australia and New Zealand as well, while simultaneously the UK and US payout formulas of the program have changed. The changes in these regions were seen as an effort to expand the payouts to reach more developers around the world.
This was also done to create new incentives for successful developers to build their own monetization income stream. This move has seemed to work in at least a few cases because lower monthly payouts for some popular Alexa skills have prompted developers to develop and improve in-skill purchasing (ISP) elements.
7. In 2017, Amazon Alexa accounted for 62% of the worldwide digital assistant market share.
Of course, Google Assistant had its own slice of the pie with 25%. Other intelligent assistants, such as Bixby, Cortana, and Siri, were responsible for 13% of the market share. As such, Alexa has indeed come a long way since it was publicly released back in June 2015.
8. One of the intriguing Alexa statistics: Amazon’s voice assistant is forecasted to only have 34% of the global market share this year.
Despite the growing popularity of Alexa worldwide, Google is expected to lead the pack with 43%. One possible reason could be the fact that Google is better at handling free-form web-based queries (thanks to its huge database engine) whereas Alexa heavily relies on Wikipedia when answering general knowledge queries.
9. The number of smart speaker owners in the US is set to reach 66.4 million; that’s 26.2% of the country’s population.
Owners of smart speakers saw a 40% increase during 2018, as revealed by smart speaker statistics. Also, in the same year, Amazon led the smart speaker sales with a 67% market share, which indicates that the smart speaker fever among US consumers is in full swing. Although Google Home is gaining traction and is actively working on stealing Amazon’s thunder, the latter’s smart speakers remain the ones to beat when looking at the overall trend.
10. Experts believe that Amazon Echo and Alexa will continue to dominate the US market through 2021.
To be specific, almost 70% of US smart speaker owners will use an Echo this year and will practically live with Alexa. The number is expected to drop to 68.2% by 2021. Nevertheless, it’s still noticeably higher than Google’s expected smart speaker market share (32%).
Amazon Alexa Statistics Through the Years
11. January 2016, Alexa only had 130 skills; three years later, her skills surpassed the 100,000-mark.
By June 2016, Alexa had already learned 1,000 skills; a year later, and she had a catalog of around 10,000 skills. Looking at the current annual data, it seems that Alexa is learning at an incredibly rapid pace — over 20,000 skills per year.
12. More than 20 million Alexa devices were sold in Q3 2017, almost 4 million higher than the Q2 sales.
2017 Alexa statistics show that the huge Echo sales were driven by Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day online sales, among others. By the last quarter of 2017, the total number of units sold went up to 21.5 million. For comparison, about 1 million non-Echo smart speakers with Alexa built-in were sold in the third quarter of 2017 as well.
13. Amazon sold over 100 million Alexa devices in 2018 alone.
According to Amazon Alexa statistics, 2018 was indeed a busy year for Alexa. Although the company didn’t reveal the exact numbers, they claimed that tens of millions of Amazon Echo products have been sold and the number of people who own multiple Echo devices increased two-fold. Another impressive, yet fun, fact: Alexa has told over 100 million jokes in 2018 alone.
14. In 2019, Amazon led the smart speaker market, shipping 10.4 million units worldwide, as revealed by Amazon Echo sales.
(Source: Android Central)
That said, Amazon had a market share of 36.6%, whereas Google had only 12.3% of the pie — a huge 40% drop in its smart speaker sales from 2018. The latter only managed to ship 3.5 million units globally. And, as Google spiraled downwards, Chinese brands such as Alibaba and Baidu reached new highs, accounting for 13.6% and 13.1% of the market pie, respectively.
15. Now a stat revealing future Alexa market share: around 66.3 million US households are expected to own smart speakers by the end of 2022.
This number is rather small if we factor in the forecasted smart speakers’ market reach of 172.4 million US consumers in 2022. Nevertheless, experts believe that Americans would be leaning more towards smart devices; they expect that over 26 million households will own other smart devices besides smart speakers in 2022 as well.
Alexa Statistics by Demographics
16. As of February 2018, 24% of Americans aged 18–29 years own an Amazon Echo smart speaker, whereas only 10% of total device owners are 55- to 64-year-olds.
The percentage just gets bigger when you look at the overall smart speaker ownership rate for the 18–29 age group. At the beginning of 2019, 34% of 18- to 29-year-olds owned a smart speaker. As such, Amazon Echo demographics indicate that Alexa may have worked her way into the homes of several young US adults today.
17. 64% of men use their Alexa-enabled device multiple times a day.
A 2018 survey conducted on over a thousand of Alexa and Google Home users in the US revealed that only 53% of women use their smart devices multiple times a day. Likewise, more recent Alexa statistics show that voice assistants are changing user behavior to some extent.
Men showed more behavioral changes as 65% of them admitted that the devices changed their daily routines. Moreover, 33% of these male users said that smart devices changed their behavior “a lot.”
18. Smart speaker ownership varies across different income groups in the US.
(Source: Pew Research Center)
34% of Americans who earn $75,000 or more each year reported that they have a smart speaker at home. This number drops to 15% when you look at the ownership rate among those with an annual household income below $30,000.
So how many people have Alexa? There’s no exact number for that but our stats can show the disparities in the number of users between Amazon Alexa and its closest competitor — Google Home.
Alexa vs Google Home Statistics
19. In 2018, Google Home had 600,000 more new users than Amazon Echo.
In terms of new smart speaker users, it seems that Google has been more appealing than Amazon. In 2018, Google’s smart speaker base expanded by 7.2 million in the US alone. Nevertheless, Amazon Echo Dot remained the most used smart speaker of 2018 with a 31.4% market share as revealed by smart speaker statistics.
20. Alexa and Google Home can both control smart homes and play the entertainment you like.
Both devices allow you to control a smart home using voice commands such as “turn off the lights,” “lock the door,” etc. The fact that they work well with the most popular smart home products (Philips hue lights, Nest thermostats, and WeMo light switch) makes them all the more appealing.
Statistics of Google Home and Alexa also show that they can process any audio activity; both devices can play audiobooks, music, even podcasts at your command.
21. Alexa shines in the skills department whereas Google Home does a better job of understanding the different ways you may ask a question.
Alexa is powerful, especially when used with Amazon’s online store and other related services. But then again, her catalog of over 100,000 skills means that she can do more than just help you with online shopping or read audiobooks. Home assistant Alexa can, in fact, check the weather, order a pizza, and answer questions, among others.
And while we’re on the subject of answering questions, Google Assistant does it way better than Alexa according to reports. This virtual assistant can understand the different ways you can say things, plus it can answer more types of questions than Alexa by getting information across the web.
22. Amazon Alexa supports the highest number of smart home devices at 60,000.
As of 2018, the Google Home platform can support just around 30,000 smart home devices, which is a far cry from what Alexa could handle. As such, the latter makes a better option for smart homeowners.
However, when it comes to accurate responsiveness on verbal prompts, Google wins, as revealed by a study from Statista. Its voice assistant scored the highest in four out of five types of queries — commerce, navigation, general information, and local questions.
Alexa Tasks Statistics and Fun Facts
23. Alexa’s strongest suit is playing audio and music, garnering an average of 4.19 stars out of five.
In 2018, some of the most common Alexa skills have been rated in a study by Statista (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest). While the digital assistant had impeccable music and audio skills, it fell short when it came to the “Utilities” category, managing only 2.99 stars out of five.
Although that’s not the best thing about Amazon Alexa, it just means that there’s still room for improvement; especially so when it comes to the device’s ability to provide bill information, personalized insights, and energy-saving program recommendations.
24. Most people who own smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home use it to listen to music.
Listening to music remains the most popular use of smart speakers according to a recent study by Adobe. No wonder, Amazon Alexa skills are nothing short of extraordinary in the audio and music category. Other popular uses of smart speaker devices include getting weather forecasts, asking fun questions, and doing online searches.
25. Alexa is known to have a great sense of humor and can amuse you with short stories, jokes, and interesting trivia.
Out of all the top questions for Alexa, statistics reveal “Alexa, what is the value of pi?” is by far the most asked. Being an informative assistant that she is, Alexa would say that the value of pie is 3.14159265359… (she goes on for a bit but then would make a joke such as “this thing goes on forever!” or “phew!”).
26. Alexa-enabled devices seamlessly integrate with the Amazon Smart Plug and other similar smart home devices.
(Source: Android Authority)
Owners of Alexa compatible devices often start pairing them with the Amazon Smart Plug to control the electronics at their home. This way, device users can tell Alexa to turn something on or off on a defined schedule or at any time they please.
Other cool things that work with Alexa are Ecobee Smart Thermostat, Ring Video Doorbell, and Samsung SmartThings hub V3, just to name a few.
27. Alexa can scare burglars off when the Echo is in the “Away” mode.
Just tell “Alexa, enable away mode” and she will play lengthy awkward audio tracks to keep unwanted visitors away from your home. This is useful when you’re going away on vacation but worried about the burglars that might just be lurking around the corner. Nonetheless, the Amazon Alexa “awkward” app skill should (supposedly) protect your property and trick people into thinking that someone is at home.
What It Means to Have Amazon Alexa
Alexa is indeed one of the finest by-products of human inventions. At a quick glance, using an Alexa-enabled device brings a new way to accomplish our day-to-day tasks such as catching up on the news, shopping, and so on. But if we take a closer look at the bigger picture, these voice technologies play a vital role in ensuring everyone’s safety.
For instance, Alexa devices are compatible with several home security systems, which could, later on, help in decreasing property crime rates nationwide. Also, car insurance companies are steadily adapting to voice-integration technology to encourage safe driving and provide relevant policy information, as revealed by Amazon Echo facts.
Nevertheless, even in the world of voice assistants, there’s no such thing as “perfect” — hence why Alexa and other digital assistants are faced with privacy issues. The major concerns circle around the fact that these devices can record discussions and could be turned into a wiretap when they fall into the wrong hands.