Digital experience agency Code ComputerLove and Mediacom North has released a survey, assessing the use of voice assistants and voice devices in the UK in 2019, and found that 70% of participants use them daily.
Though this is up 30% from last year, the survey expects Brits use of these devices to continue to grow, after considering how they're currently used.
Tony Foggett, CEO of Code Computerlove, said: “The clear increases in voice assistant usage reinforces our own belief that voice technology is here to stay; having Alexa as part of our everyday lives is something we clearly all love.
“Voice assistants offer easy access to all sorts of useful content and are super convenient in busy homes to get answers to questions quickly or to expand on how we listen to music and the radio. New Alexa Skills are being launched every day, as businesses switch on to the opportunity to reach consumers via this channel. It is a rapidly expanding area.
"Now is definitely the time for companies to be looking at how they can best leverage voice to better interact with their customers. It doesn’t always make sense for every brand to introduce a voice skill but they should all be considering if it can add value.”
Having spoken to 1000 smart speaker owners in the UK, the survey sets out benchmark changes on the use of voice assistants in the last 12 months.
The changing face of voice
Most device owners use their voice assistants at least once a week, with one in five participants interacting with it at least five times per day.
Of these devices, Amazon’s Alexa remains the most popular voice assistant (80%) followed by Google Home (28%) and then Apple Homepod (3%). Millennials aged between 18 to 24-year-olds are more likely to prefer Google Home, a change from last year's results which revealed Apple Homepod to be the favourite.
The survey revealed how most people use their devices: for playing music, listening to the radio, getting news updates and weather forecasts, and finding out facts.
Other tasks include making purchases or ordering takeaways, playing games and tuning in to podcasts — although a quarter of respondents admitted to mainly using Alexa as an egg timer.
However, privacy remains a huge concern for respondents, with a large proportion not realising that their conversations were being recorded. As many as a quarter of those surveyed revealed that they didn’t use their assistants more because they were worried about the data it collects on them, although few had changed their privacy settings on their devices.
The report also revealed that privacy contributed to a number of reasons for people to stop using their devices, with boredom and a failure of the tech to meet their needs as other factors.
Code’s voice specialist, Duncan Bloor, said: “These results are interesting because they may be the first indication that home voice assistants are shifting from novelty devices to an everyday part of people’s lives. More people are using their devices more frequently for more things. They’re finding real value from their convenience.
“Although purchasing goods and ordering services remains a relatively underused function, there are early indications that demand for this functionality is on the rise and this is being matched by developments in the industry. This will be great news for the people behind home voice assistants and if the trend continues, will see companies innovating in this space and rewarded for their efforts."