Voice assistant survey 2019

Whether it’s the Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple Homepod, home voice assistants are becoming a familiar, well… voice in UK households.

Last year, we ran a survey to understand exactly how people are using their home voice assistants by interviewing a representative sample of 1,000 people from across the UK.

The results from the survey were very popular - so much so that we still get people asking for the data today. Because of this and the continued scarcity of reliable data, we decided to run the survey again this year.

The infographic

Inforgraphic - Alexa V4

The results: how are people using voice?

Running (mostly) the same survey again gave us the unique chance to measure the change from last year in how we interact with our home voice assistants.

The most striking finding from the survey was that in just over a year, people are now using them far more frequently.

  • Talking to a home voice assistant has moved from a novelty to a habit for seven out of ten owners, up from four out of ten last year
  • People are also using them to do more things and the tech is able to understand people better
  • Although people aren’t yet using their voice assistants in huge numbers to purchase goods and services, there are early signs that the needle is shifting on this.

Privacy remains a big concern and a large proportion of respondents were surprised to hear that their conversations were recorded.

Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) say that they don’t use their assistants more because they worry about the data it collects on them - this is up from 18.9% since last year.

How often do people use their home voice assistants?

Seven out of ten of our respondents now use theirs every day (up from four out of ten last year) and nine out of ten of our respondents now use theirs at least weekly (up from eight out of ten).

Two in ten are heavy users, interacting with their voice assistant at least five times per day.

How many home voice assistants do people own?

Around three in ten people have more than one. As this was a new question, we can’t compare to last year’s figures.

Amazon’s Alexa is the most ubiquitous (80% of respondents who had a home voice assistant) followed by Google Home (28%) and then Apple Homepod (3%). Interestingly, 18 to 24-year-olds are more likely than other age groups to prefer Google Home (43% of this age group do).

This is similar to last year’s results, although the percentage of people saying they own an Apple Homepod has shrunk.

Where do people keep theirs?

The most popular place in the home to keep your voice assistant is in the living room (68%), followed by the kitchen (40%) and then the bedroom (37%).

People are more likely to have home voice assistants in their bedrooms now than they were last year.

What do people use their home voice assistants for?

Since last year, people are more likely to use their home voice assistants for more things. Playing music, adding things to shopping lists, playing games and listening to the news, weather, podcasts and audiobooks have all seen substantial year-on-year increases.

There have been smaller increases around listening to travel reports, making purchases and ordering takeaways and over half of the people surveyed use their assistant to find out information or facts.

What stops people from using their home voice assistants more often?

Fewer than one in ten people say that being bored with their assistant stops them from using it more.

The number of people saying that their assistants don’t understand them or get answers wrong has decreased since last year, which points to an improvement in the underlying technology.

However, on the flip side, more people say that they use theirs less as they’re worried about the data that home voice assistants collect or they forget that it’s there.

Are people aware of privacy issues?

45% of respondents weren’t aware that their devices record and store their conversations, perhaps showing that the spate of news stories hasn’t had a big impact on public awareness.

More people than last year were ‘very concerned’ about home voice assistants recording them, however, the overall net concerned has remained at a similar level (2018: 79%, 2019: 77%).

Only a small proportion of respondents (14%) had changed privacy settings on their devices; the most likely to do this were males between the age of 35 - 44.

Want to know more?

If you'd like to get the raw data, getin touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to send it over.

If you're interested in working with us on voice, contact us.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our survey. Tweet us @computerlovers using the hashtag, #voicesurvey2019 and we’ll include your tweet below.

Read more from our blog on voice:

2018 voice survey

Designing voice skills for older adults

How to build a successful Alexa skill


Call for speakers: What Women Want