3 Things To Know About The Market Opportunity of Devices Like Amazon Echo.

Mark C. Webster
VUI Magazine
Published in
3 min readOct 4, 2016


Spoiler: It’s going to be big.

Gartner recently released a research report on what they’ve titled “Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA)-Enabled Wireless Speakers.” While Amazon Alexa-powered devices such as Echo and Dot make up most of this market currently, that will change quickly as Google releases Google Home and Apple joins the race with a Siri-powered device rumored to be on its way.

Here are the three big things Gartner shared that you should know:

1. The VPA-enabled wireless speaker market will grow to $2.1 Billion by 2020.

In 2015, this market was around $360 million and that was focused entirely on the Amazon Echo. In fact, to get an idea of the impact Echo has had so far, here’s what the entire speaker market looked last year.

Amazon dominated the speaker market last year, which also grew 55% in 2015 from 2014.

With an initial limited release of the Echo in November 2014, Amazon came out of nowhere to absolutely dominate speaker purchasing in 2015. However, things are about to get a lot more crowded. In addition to speakers from Google and Apple on the way, a host of third-party products powered by Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and a slew of other voice platforms will all continue to make VPA’s a major part of our everyday lives.

2. By 2020, 3.3% of global households will have a VPA-enabled speaker.

Last month, Amazon made their initial push towards introducing Alexa to the rest of the world with launches in the UK and Germany. With this battle being fought by the global tech giants, the race is on to be the first to reach international markets. The United States ranks third world-wide for number of households (133M), so expect to see launches around the world, especially in China (455M) and India (248M), happen next year.

3. About 25% of those households will have more than one speaker.

As voice interactions become commonplace at home and are used by everyone in the household, many customers will want to spread access throughout the entire house. Gartner predicts that “75% of households with VPAs will have one device, 20% will have two, and 5% will have three or more by 2020.”

Voice-powered user experiences reduce the friction of digital interactions, and users will want to further reduce that friction by not confining it to one room. In fact, based on feedback from users with more than one Alexa device, Amazon has already started to roll out a feature called Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), which prevents multiple devices within earshot from all responding to the same command.

The VPA-enabled speaker market will be big, but Voice will be much, much bigger.

This report focused just on dedicated speakers for Virtual Personal Assistants, but the economic impact of voice-powered VPA’s will be massive. Being natural and intuitive, voice will become the primary interface for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The wearable market will drive $20 Billion in revenue next year.
There will be 46 Million smart homes in North America in 2020.
Over 60 Million connected cars will be on the road by 2020.

And voice will grow to be the way we interact with all of them.

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I often write about Amazon Echo and the way voice is going to change everything. For more, follow me here on Medium, or on Twitter.



Mark C. Webster
VUI Magazine

Voice UI/UX Design, Product, Developer. Founder of @Sayspring (now part of Adobe). Editor of VUI-magazine.com. Prev: Co-founded SideTour (Acq'd by @Groupon).