Three-Quarters of US Consumers Have Used Voice Commands to Operate Digital Devices – GfK

Digital home assistants tap into a well-established technology – but
ownership, intent to buy remain low

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Though they are breaking new ground in many ways, “digital home
assistants” – such as Amazon Echo and Google Home – are also leveraging
consumers’ proven comfort with using speech to operate digital devices.

New research from GfK shows that 76% of US consumers (ages 13 to 64)
have used voice commands on any device. Within this group, 69% say they
have used speech to operate a smartphone; tablets (21%), car radios and
navigation (20%), PCs (18%), and TV sets (14%) registered much lower

& scroll down to view an infographic from this report.

Less than two years after introduction, digital home assistants (DHA)
have yet to make more than a small dent in the US market, with just 11%
of consumers saying they own either an Amazon Echo/Dot (10%) or Google
Home (2%). And, among non-owners, intent to buy a DHA is low (just 3%
are “very likely” to purchase one in the next year).

The findings come from GfK’s new “Commanding Media” report, one of an
annual series of reports known as The Home Technology Monitor®. The
study explores the general use of voice commands with technology
devices, along with a deep dive into the usage of Amazon Echo and Google
Home devices.

to read a Smart Home blog post based on this report.

The report shows that almost half (46%) of those who own DHAs say they
use the devices at least regularly, and two in ten (19%) turn to them
“all the time.” Playing music is by far the most common application for
the assistants, cited by two-thirds (63%) of DHA owners. (See list

Top 10 ways people are using digital home assistants

1. Play streamed or downloaded music

2. Ask a question

3. Get news/weather/traffic

4. Get sports news

5. Control lights/thermostat/fans

6. Check/revise calendar/to do lists

7. Play videos

8. Search for/play podcasts

9. Read/compose emails/texts

10. Order products from Amazon or elsewhere

Source: “Commanding Media 2017,” GfK

“The use of voice opens up new relationships between consumers, device
makers, voice service providers, and advertisers that will need to be
carefully navigated,” said David Tice, SVP Consulting at GfK. “With
these devices integrated so closely into their lives, consumers will be
especially sensitive to false steps –whether it be violating the
privacy of conversations, prioritizing search results based on payments,
promotion of certain shopping services above others, or enabling
intrusive advertising.”

The new study, “Commanding Media 2017,” is based on interviews with
1,012 members of GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, of which 108 were DHA owners.
The report also includes:

  • brief details about voice command usage with smartphones, tablets,
    computers, and TVs/TV-connected devices
  • a user experience (UX) evaluation of DHA devices, with recommendations
    for the future
  • exploration of privacy and device compatibility issues among potential
    DHA buyers
  • profiles of active DHA users
  • in-depth descriptions of how the devices are being used
  • DHA user likes and dislikes

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information
that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000
market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing
data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global
insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100
countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns
big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit
or follow @GfK on Twitter.


For GfK
David Stanton, 908 875 9844
VP, MarComms