29 per cent of Brits now own a smart speaker, quadrupling in three years

Almost three in 10 (29 per cent) Brits now own a smart speaker, with ownership growing by nearly four times the number it was in 2017, according to a study from GfK in partnership with TechUK.

Three years ago, just seven per cent of people in the UK owned a smart speaker. But growth since then has now made smart speakers the second most popular smart home device after smart TVs, which are owned by 49 per cent of people.

However, the survey of 1,000 UK adults also found that not all smart devices are receiving the same amount of love, with ownership of smart devices in areas such as home security and energy management remaining flat or dropping slightly.

There is also a growing concern around the privacy of smart home technology. 53 per cent of people now have privacy concerns about smart devices in general, up from 49 per cent last year. This increases to 58 per cent when the focus is on smart entertainment devices.

“People’s stated interest in buying connected devices for security and energy management – such as smart lights, thermostats, and doorbell-cameras – is actually strong. The problem is that 58 per cent of people hesitate about the higher cost of smart devices over conventional devices – they need to be convinced of the value that “smart” benefits bring,” said Trevor Godman, Key Account Director at GfK.

“The onus is on the industry to win consumers’ trust in these areas, and also address ease of use and interoperability of connected home devices – the ability of some of those devices to monitor or control others. Addressing these areas will drive wider uptake.”