New study: The end of the personal computer?

By Rune Werliin, AudienceProject

People are giving up the computer in favour of the mobile meaning that the mobile penetration has now exceeded the computer penetration. At the same time, new devices are being introduced creating an ever more fragmented landscape of devices.

Not so long ago, the computer was our go to – and lone – machinery for all things digital. Now, however, the computer has not only gotten competition but is being eclipsed by other devices with the mobile in the lead.

In our new study, we show that even though the computer is still in most households more and more people are abandoning the computer, while the mobile is getting close to full penetration in some markets.

Smart speaker already widely adopted

While the mobile has surpassed the computer as the device with the highest penetration, new devices seem to be introduced every year. A couple of years ago, the smartwatch was new to many, while VR had its breakthrough last year. This year, it is the smart speaker that is really making its entry into our homes. And even though the smart speaker is the new kid on the block in terms of connected devices available, it has already been widely adopted.

In the US, we see that around a quarter of all Americans have a smart speaker at home, while this is the case with 14% in the UK and 10% in Germany. At the same time, however, we see that the Nordics are still lagging behind. In all the Nordic countries, it is less than 10% who have a smart speaker at home.

Alexa is moving in

When looking at which smart speakers people have invested in, it becomes clear that Amazon is heavily dominating the market. Around three-quarters of the American and British smart speaker owners have Amazon’s Alexa device Amazon Echo, while this is the case for two-thirds of the German smart speaker owners.

Interestingly, we see that Sonos One is the preferred smart speaker in both Denmark and Sweden. Looking at what the smart speakers are used for in these countries – and the rest of the Nordics for that sake – it makes good sense though.

In the Nordics, the smart speaker is almost solely used for playing music. For comparison, it is used for several other purposes in the US, UK and Germany – another finding illustrating the maturity of the smart speaker market in the various countries.

An ever more fragmented landscape

With the smart speaker becoming a part of our homes we face a reality of a device landscape that is getting ever more fragmented, which places greater demands on the media industry and its ability to identify people across devices.

Even though the smart speaker has not yet developed into a mature advertising platform, it still has the potential of becoming it. We have already seen various examples of how the smart speaker can be used for advertising and the creatives will definitely keep developing ways to connect with their audience through the smart speaker.

The study is based on more than 16.000 individual survey respondents across seven countries; The US, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Download the full study and get further insights now:

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