60m Americans have used voice devices, 35.6m devices estimated to be sold in 2017

According to a recent research report from eMarketer, 60.5 million Americans will talk at least once a month to their virtual personal assistants named Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and other as-yet unknowns this year. “That equates to 27.5% of smartphone users, or nearly one-fifth of the population,” eMarketer said. Link

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More details on the study:

  • “The e-commerce giant’s Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices will claim a 70.6 percent share of the U.S. market this year, the study found.”
  • That 60.5m figure is more like “penetration,” people who have tried voice stuff but aren’t active users. By device ownership (I don’t know if this includes or excludes phones with Siri and such): “The number of active U.S. users will more than double for the devices this year, to 35.6 million, eMarketer said.”

See more details over from TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez.

Personally, I still find all this obnoxious. But (a.) I’m more of a podcast and text person, and, (b.) hey, the Echo is a really nice Bluetooth/Spotify speaker.

Can an industries’ customers create a monopoly?

The three most admired American companies are Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon, according to Fortune; Facebook is in the top 15 and rising fast. Our attention seems to be ever more focused on our phones, and Apple owns 40 percent of the U.S. smartphone market; between them, Google and Facebook collect more than half of all mobile-display advertising revenues. If mobile phones, software, and social networks eat the world, who decides how big the portions can be?

Pieces like this suffer tremendously from a lack of citations, even better links to the actual studies. More little charts a la the Economist would be helpful too.

Nonetheless, it maps to the intuition we have and the “new model of monopolist” that Ben Thompson points out from time-to-time:

Given that aggregators’ “monopoly” is based on consumer choice it is highly unlikely that any of them will ultimately have antitrust problems in the U.S. absent a substantial shift in antitrust doctrine. And, on the flipside, it is very possible that all of them will ultimately have problems in Europe: Europe’s doctrine of prioritizing competition isn’t so much challenging U.S. tech company dominance as it is challenging the very structure of Internet-enabled markets.

As I recall, Ben ads that is the US, anti-trust is done to benefit other companies: you want to make sure market-share/revenue is shared among competitors. Where-as in the EU, anti-trust is done on behalf of the consumers: you want them to have more choice in the market.

Source: America’s Monopoly Problem

Image from geralt.

Link: Gartner: Cloud Email Adoption Still in Early Stages

“The cloud email market is still in the early stages of adoption, Gartner said, with 13 percent of identified publicly listed companies globally using one of the two main cloud email vendors, Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps for Work, respectively. With the majority of companies opting for smaller vendors, the cloud email opportunity is still ripe for channel partners… According to Gartner, 8.5 percent of public companies in its sample of nearly 40,000 public companies globally use Microsoft’s Office 365 service, while 4.7 percent use Google Apps for Work.”

Seems pretty crazy, but I’m sure there’s sunk costs, security and data handling issues, and, well, sometimes it probably is cheaper.

Source: Gartner: Cloud Email Adoption Still in Early Stages