Smart audio market to triple by 2020

The smart audio market will triple over the next four years, according to a new report.

Juniper Research has predicted that revenue from smart audio hardware will rise from an estimated £1.06 billion in 2016 to over £4.26 billion by 2020.

The majority of growth will, according to the report, come from smart-home devices, with slower growth in in-ear wearables. This slow growth stems from users’ unwillingness to talk to machines in public and the fact that smartphones already provide many of those functions.

Fitness devices are one area that would offer a bigger market for smart headphones. The greater mobility and ease of use what Juniper refers to as ‘hearables’ while exercising may be more convincing for skeptics. 

Research author and resarch analyst at Juniper, James Moar said: “Smart speakers win out because, while they also need a context, their form factor gives them an almost universal one, while ‘hearables’ fill specific audio niches.

“As a result, smart speakers and ‘hearables’ will fill very different roles, despite relying on similar software capabilities in many cases.”

With a growing number of ‘hearables’ on the market and the success of Amazon’s Echo in the US (still to be released in the UK), smart audio look like the next booming Internet of Things (IoT) technology that users will gravitate to over the coming years. 

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