Newsletter November 21: The rise of the smart speaker

21 November 2018

The smart speaker has been making strides on the global market this year. The tech giants are ramping up marketing and sales and are once again trying to convince us all on a new “must-have”. Google recently launched its smart speaker across the Nordics and we expect several others to follow. So, how about the potential of the smart speaker to become a new staple for households in this part of the world?

The smart speaker market has become more crowded as its’ main actors, Amazon and Google, are fighting for market shares. Over the past 12 months, the global smart speaker market has grown by 137% according to Canalys. Furthermore, Google is catching up with market leader Amazon (Alexa) quickly. During Q3 2017, Amazon held a market share of almost 75%, compared to Google’s 25%. Now, a year later, Amazon has a 32% market share and Google approximately the same (30%). Global sales 2018 of Amazon Echo and Google Home is projected a 40% YOY growth according to IDC. While US and China are the biggest markets, the normally tech-savvy Nordic region is still in its’ infancy. But, Google launched its smart speaker here recently and this may fuel growth.

And change can come rapidly. A possible comparison is the launch of the tablet in Sweden. Following the launch of the first iPad in 2010, the tablet has since become a staple in Swedish households. In 2012 and 2013 household penetration grew by +114% and +82% YOY, respectively. Today, 8 years later, the average household penetration of tablets in Sweden is approximately 65%. Comparing the early years of the tablet to smart-home products (which includes smart speakers) growth has yet to take off, but the race for the Nordic consumers has just begun.

Swdish household penetration, tablets compared to smart-home products (respective products’ early years)

The smart-speakers (i e voice control), is pondered to play into the hands of the media giants – since consumers are likely to address the top-of-mind brand such as Netflix for video or Spotify for music.

In February household penetration among households with Wi-fi in the US reached 20% according to Comscore, since the Nordic consumers in a comparison are highly digitized, the potential might be even greater here. Mediavision follows the market closely, read more on our analysis here.

Mediavision blogs:

Premium sports market: Online migration and tough competition over subscribers
With the transition from traditional to digital viewing in full swing, sports content is in a league of its own. The sports genre has both exceptional strength as a driver for “live” viewing and creates very loyal customers or subscribers.

Mediavisio press releases:

Swedish households spend more than 330 SEK per month on video and TV subscription services
Video streaming services have grown rapidly during 2018 and the third quarter of 2018 is no exception. This in turn leads to a significant increase in the combined household spend on TV services.

Industry news:

Smart speaker news briefings unenjoyable
A new report from the Reuters Institute suggests that people aren’t enjoying smart speakers news briefings. 46 percent of UK users listens to briefings on a regular basis, but only one percent listed it as the most valued function.

YouSee adds Nordisk Film+ and Fox+

YouSee adds streaming services Nordisk Film+ and Fox+ in Denmark. The Egmont-owned Nordisk Film service will offer films from the Nordic region combined with international blockbusters. Nordisk Film aims to launch the service across the entire Nordic region.

Tidal launching on Amazon Echo
Amazon has added the music streaming service Tidal to its offering, which has Jay-Z as one of its main investors. Tidal has been making a push to make its way to more devices, such as the Samsung Wearable app.

Viafree reaches 1 million registered users
In August NENT Group made it mandatory for Swedish Viafree users to register and to remain logged in to watch. Almost three months later the number of registered users has passed one million. The total tally of Viafree downloads in the Nordics has surpassed three million.

AI & machine learning to boost podcasts
Music streaming giants are poised to use machine-learning and AI to help users discover new podcasts. Pandora Media believes that podcast listening would increase if podcasts were presented in the same manner as music.

Mediavision in the news:

Svenskar villiga att betala allt mer för rörlig bild
Ekonominyheterna 22:00, 14 november 2018

Industry events

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