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Amazon Echo still top of the pile for CTV-smart speaker integration

Amazon Echo is the most-connected smart speaker brand to TV sets, but the gap is closing.

According to a new study from Hub Entertainment Research, the Alexa smart speaker still leads the way when it comes to integration with CTVs but its share has decreased significantly in the past year. The research notes that Echo’s share of linked smart speakers dropped from 48% in 2019 to 36% in 2020.

This coincides with the share of smart TV homes with a linked smart speaker growing greatly to account for a quarter of all CTV homes.

The shrinking of Echo’s market share came alongside growth from most other major smart speaker makers. Google Nest/Home devices that were connected to TV sets grew from 30% in 2019 to 32% in 2020, while Apple’s HomePod increased from 22% to 28% and Facebook’s Portal jumped from 13% to 25%. Sonos also saw a slight rise from 6% in 2019 to 9% in 2020.

The report also found that customer satisfaction with using a smart speaker to control a smart TV set is high, with 85% of respondents saying that they were either very or somewhat satisfied. Echo still leads the way for user satisfaction, with 59% indicating that they were very satisfied compared to only 48% of Google Nest/Home owners.

As homes become more integrated, smart speaker users are increasingly turning to these devices to control their TV, though this is only marginally higher than in 2019. In 2020, among those with a linked smart speaker and smart TV, 66% of respondents said they are using a smart speaker to control a smart TV “all the time” or “often”, only up 3% from the previous year.

Function wise, changing channel, adjusting volume and pausing play are the most common activities, with discovery still being infrequent. Some 36% of the survey’s respondents said that they use their smart speakers to find a movie, dropping to 33% for finding TV shows to watch.

David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study, said: “Consumers are doubling down on ‘smart’ by linking their smart TVs and smart speakers. This hybrid set-up allows their TV sets to evolve beyond the sometimes limited voice control or content search-and-discovery options offered by OEM systems to the more powerful options offered by Amazon or Google.”