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In the Home – Alexa is Echoing Loudly!

by Prabhat Agarwal | Jan 27, 2017

With the buzz of announcements from CES 2017 in the rear view mirror, which included media reports that Amazon’s Echo (aka, Alexa) stole the show, I thought the timing was right to highlight stats from our AppOptix database on how consumers are using the Echo product. 

Before proceeding, I must admit to owning two Echo Dots and using them regularly for listening to music, creating shopping and to-do lists and experimenting with other “skills”, which are essentially third party apps that extend the device’s capabilities. Also, it’s important to note that our analysis is derived from data on use of the Alexa app on Android smartphones and not based on time spent communicating directly with the Echo (more on how we do this below).  In most cases, app use data is a reliable representation of product use (except in a few instances, such as the time spent “speaking” to the Echo) because the app must be downloaded and utilized in the set-up process and to enable key Echo features, which can only be accessed via the app.

To begin, Amazon’s Echo is gaining traction within the 2K+ devices on our panel, particularly in Q4 2016 (see figure below), which is likely due to a bump from Holiday sales and Amazon’s extensive marketing campaign. As a side note, my purchase decision came by way of friends, who raved about the product.



Over this same period, weekly engagement was also rising, indicating that users were likely experimenting and testing the range of product features and becoming acquainted with their new assistant. I’ve owned my Echo Dot for about one month, and find that I’m still enabling and disabling “skills” to suit my lifestyle and interests.

It’s my opinion that the above two stats speak to a broader market trend – that rising home penetration and engagement levels for the Echo represents bad news for competitors. Primarily because – and allowing the discretion of my experience to represent the broader market – I am unlikely (although not improbable) to shift to another home platform once I have integrated the Echo into my home’s operational flow, despite the fact that I am dedicated iPhone owner. I’m just saying…

If you’re curious about our data source, here is a synopsis of the AppOptix platform from where we pull the data – with our AppOptix app installed on a panel of users in the U.S. and India, we capture every interaction (in near real time) that someone (on our proprietary panel) has with his/her mobile device – including device details; battery performance; apps usage, including what, when, how often and where they use them; and operator networks specifics. Here’s a link to an overview

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