Voice Search Statistics: History, Emerging Trends, and COVID-19

Voice Search Statistics: History, Emerging Trends, and COVID-19

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Voice search technology has been long hailed as the future of internet browsing. The first mainstream solution in voice search came with Siri’s development and presentation, Apple’s popular voice assistant app. Its success has initiated a stream of changes and progress in voice technology, as Apple’s rivals sought to put out competitive, high-quality apps of their own.

We looked at the latest statistics, analyzed the latest data, and compared how the tech giants play their cards on the market in 2022.

Top Voice Search Statistics: Editor’s Choice​

General Voice Search Stats and Facts


Voice search is gaining traction around the world. We’ve been hearing that voice search technology is the future, but how true is that? Read on to find out.

1. 91% of the voice search answers come from Google’s top five results.

Thanks to the voice-activated Google search, it is much easier for people to find the highest-ranked pages on the search engine.

For this reason, Google pages must rank high in order to deliver the most suitable answers users are looking for. Voice Search SEO figures for 2022 revealed that shorter answers tend to work better—the best responses have an average word count of 29.

2. 94% of voice search users consider it beneficial to their everyday life.

Nearly all users find it simple to navigate their smartphones and other devices with a voice command. Not to mention, voice technology saves a great deal of time.

Voice search also simplified the shopping experience on retail and ecommerce sites for the vast majority of buyers. The number of users who currently use a smart speaker has seen considerable growth over the past years, statistics show.

3. 52.8% of consumers use voice commands while driving.

The most recent study disclosed that 41.7% of consumers used a voice assistant in their car every month, while a good 22.9% use it daily. Whether it is Siri, Amazon Echo, or Google, a voice search is a more comfortable option than stopping the car to type your query.

With the increased number of voice searches, competitors will most likely add new and improved assistants on the market in the near future.

4. Despite the voice search growth, fewer than 20% of consumers use voice search more than five times per week.

Moreover, 56% of all survey respondents said they use voice search less than two times a week, with the majority of those reporting they never use it.

The same study indicates that less than 10% of consumers use voice search 10–13 times a week, per customer experience statistics. Although voice is set to replace traditional ways of online search, the vast majority of internet users haven’t explored the benefits of voice search yet.

When it comes to browsing local businesses, people prefer using voice technology via smartphones. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as smartphones are the most popular device out there.

Over the past few years, the staggering number of searches for “near me” companies has brought positive news to local businesses.

6. Over 90 million Americans own a smart speaker.

The number of people owning a smart speaker in the US exceeded 90 million, statistics on voice search demonstrate. This accounts for an incredible 35% of the entire population.

Compared to the 42% and 32% registered in the last couple of years, the 2021 report saw only a 1.8% increase. However, the number of new smart speakers in the US is expected to grow with each passing year.

7. 51% of online buyers use voice search to find products.

Furthermore, about 33% of these shoppers use voice technology to add new products to their carts. Besides that, voice search technology statistics indicate that 20% of them leave reviews, while 17% use the same method to place other orders.

Despite voice search technology being mostly used for checking the weather, setting reminders, and other quick tasks, a good 38 million Americans search for products and services via smart speakers.

8. Over 60% of the people use voice search in the comfort of their home.

The majority of the surveyed users revealed that they are most comfortable using it at home alone. Its usage declines with the intimacy or comfort level of the environment.

Some of the more curious voice-activated search statistics indicated that 27.1% and 23.5% of people used it in a public restroom and a theater.

9. 25% of people shop for everyday household items via voice commands.

Apparel and entertainment products and services came out in second place, with 21.15% of voice search users buying in each category. The game category comes right behind, with 18.94% of people using this kind of technology. On the other hand, only 3.52% of consumers find local services via voice search.

However, the latest voice technology trends indicate that 23.35% aren’t comfortable disclosing their payment information to voice assistants.

what american consumers buy via voice search

10. In 2021, 23.5 million Americans were expected to make at least one purchase through their smart speakers.

In our digital world, it’s no wonder voice search technology is consistently increasing, and so are purchases made through it. In 2020, the number was projected to have grown to 21.6 million.

Although there is no available data for 2022, the number of online consumers who place an order using their voice assistants will most likely increase.

Voice Search Statistics in 2022: The Effect of the Pandemic


Like many other industries, technology has been affected by the pandemic. But unlike every other industry, it’s not all bad news. People turned to voice search, in particular, more than ever before.

11. 22% of the adults in the US use voice assistants on their smartphones at least once a week.

During the pre-pandemic period, about 17% of American adults used the voice search feature once a week. So, it’s safe to say this figure experienced a 5% growth. Furthermore, the most recent mobile voice search statistics demonstrated that 21% of Americans used voice commands nearly every day, a 3% growth YoY since 2019.

However, 18% of them reported not having a voice-operated assistant on their smartphones. In comparison, this figure is projected to decrease in the near future, as smartphone users and voice assistants are incredibly growing in number.

12. 36% of the smart speaker owners say they used their devices more for entertainment in 2021.

Or rather, since the pandemic outbreak.

When it comes to age demographics, voice search facts by Edison Research show that 52% of users 25–34 years old in the US claim they’ve been consuming music and other forms of entertainment through their home speakers.

In the case of news and media, 35% of US adults get their information by listening via their smart speakers.

13. 52% of voice assistant consumers have used the technology several times a day since the outbreak.

This increase in voice technology usage has been a direct result of the pandemic, voice search statistics reveal. Previously 46% of users engaged in daily consumption prior to the outbreak.

This is unsurprising, as people spend almost all of their days at home, where they feel most comfortable using voice search.

History of Voice Search: How Did It All Begin?


Have you ever wondered when voice technology showed its first advancements? Read on for a brief history trip into the beginnings of what we now call the future. 

14. IBM Shoebox introduced the first speech recognition tool in 1961.

The first digital speech recognition tool had only 16 words and nine digits to work with. IBM Shoebox was designed so users could speak into a microphone and turn speech into electrical impulses.

While it wasn’t nearly as valuable as speaker devices and voice search assistants in 2022, it laid the foundation on which Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa were developed.

15. Siri was the first smartphone voice assistant introduced to the world.

Fifty years after IBM introduced its speech recognition tool, in October 2011, Apple revealed their virtual assistant and marked one of the most significant moments in voice technology. Initially designed for iPhone 4S, Siri received both praise and criticism from its users.

Some of the actual progress the app has made was increasing word accuracy, among the most important factors, Siri statistics prove.

The development of Siri meant popularization and normalization of voice search usage, which inevitably created intense competition on the market in the years to come.

16. Google Assistant was the last VA to join the market.

After being introduced in 2016, Google Assistant didn’t take a lot of time to attract customers. Only the year after, the app was installed on millions of Android devices worldwide.

As of today, Google Assistant holds much of the market, along with Amazon’s Alexa and Siri.

Voice Assistant Statistics in 2022


Voice assistants are gaining more and more popularity in recent years, and with the growth of voice search, the upward trend is expected to continue.

17. 35% of the voice assistant market share for smartphones belongs to Apple’s Siri.

Even though Alexa and Google Assistant are viewed as superior voice assistants, Siri holds over one-third of the overall market share. More surprisingly, the second place belongs to Microsoft’s Cortana, which registered a 22% share.

One of the possible reasons for this dominant position is the fact that Siri is the first phone assistant to be developed, therefore holding more familiarity among users.

18. Alexa was estimated to reach 42% of the market share among US voice assistants.

Even though Siri has the highest share worldwide, Amazon’s Alexa is the dominant platform in the US.

Despite a slow start, Alexa still has an advantage over Google and Apple. These two giants are projected to hold 37% and 21% of the share, respectively.

As Alexa’s popularity soared, so did the purchases by young adults. The 18–29 year-olds have a staggering ownership rate of 24% in the US.

The latest available Amazon Echo demographics show a drop in numbers when it comes to older consumers. For instance, barely 10% of those aged 55–64 own the device. In addition to that, 12% of them are aged 65 and over.

20. Estimations show that a total of 82 million Amazon Echo devices will be shipped in 2022.

The sales for Amazon Echo will almost double by 2025—it’s projected that 130 million devices will be sold that year worldwide.

During the 2014–2025 decade, Statista’s Amazon Echo sales figures are expected to increase consistently. Considering that Amazon Echo generated an astonishing 0.6 million in the first year of tracking, it’s not surprising that this platform achieved great success.

amazon echo unit shipments worldwide (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025)

21. Roughly 70% of Americans use Amazon Echo devices.

With Amazon occupying an overwhelming majority of the market, it is not a surprise its voice search will keep the number one spot in 2022. More specifically, 68.2% of Americans used Amazon Echo as their main smart speaker in 2021. This figure suggests how many Americans judge Amazon Echo as the best voice-activated speaker.

Despite its staggering popularity, Amazon Echo has seen a slight decline over the past years, and it will most likely keep decreasing. In comparison, Google, Apple, and other competitors are gaining more users than ever before.

percentage of smart speakers used in the us by brand (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)

22. 20% of all Google searches on mobile are voice.

To put it shortly, this accounts for about 427 million voice searches made on mobile devices each day. That’s 12.8 billion monthly voice searches every month and 153 billion voice searches per year.

These are astonishing numbers, considering that these Google voice search statistics exclude desktop and smart speakers. Obviously, the figure does not take into consideration other voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, Google Home, and others.

Voice Search Statistics Worldwide


Americans enjoy technology advancements, but how interested is the rest of the world in voice search? These worldwide statistics can offer some insight.

23. Only 11% of UK adults own a smart speaker.

Despite smart speakers being available in the UK for the past three years, only a small percentage of British adults purchased these devices. 21% of them agreed that smart speakers make their life much easier, as they only need to remotely control and monitor their home with just a few voice commands.

Currently, there are no available voice search statistics in 2022 —however, 15% of UK smart speaker owners said these devices save them money. An additional 12% praised how smart speakers are a more environmentally friendly choice.

24. Voice search grew by 270% in India.

The significant internet penetration has set a fantastic possibility for the voice search market to grow in India. Voice search queries have been increasing by almost 300% in the country. Rising to this occasion, brands in India have also ensured that they adapt and optimize their apps for voice-activated search.

As indicated by voice search statistics, India sees voice technology as crucial in commerce growth. As of today, 82% of Indian smartphone users say they make use of voice-activated technology.

More than half of Australians choose to use voice browsing because it’s convenient in their day-to-day lives. In fact, their usage of voice assistants and smart speakers is rooted in their utility and convenience. 95% of respondents will continue using voice search for the next 12 months.

That said, voice search statistics for Australia signal a promising future. The high percentage of users pushes marketers to rethink their strategies and change how they optimize websites for voice-commanded search.


Finally, let’s take a look at how the figures look for the next few years when it comes to voice tech industry growth.

26. The global number of voice-assisted devices is projected to reach 8.4 billion in 2024.

With 3.25 billion registered in 2019, the number of digital voice assistants has been growing consistently with each passing year. In 2020, Statista estimated this number to increase up to 4.2 billion. Understandably, these figures will hit new staggering records every year, defining a bright future of voice search.

Voice-enabled smart speakers will not only be the pivotal device in US households, but they are gradually making their way all over the world.

27. Over 60% of users want more direct answers from their VAs.

When asked which novelties they would like to see in the future, more than half of the respondents reported they would like to receive less broad answers from virtual assistants in 2017. 

While the same request seems to be still presented among a good number of people, voice search trends show that it is not far behind increased app integration (32%) and support for other languages (27%).

28. Google Home’s sales are projected to reach 140 million in 2025.

Globally, Google Home’s shipment units have been gradually increased over the past decade.

Compared to the 12.5 million registered in 2018, Statista revealed these figures were expected to hit the 75 million milestone by the end of 2022. This means that Google Home’s sales might almost double over the next three years.

Google Home statistics show how this is a remarkable feat. As Google has become more and more influential, it’s not all that surprising. These numbers are already growing exponentially over the last five years.

Google Home Unit Shipments in the world (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025)

Voice Search Statistics: The Takeaway

After looking at the latest statistics, developments of the last several years of the industry clearly show a rise in popularity. The trio Amazon-Apple-Google currently holds close to a monopoly on the market as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant find their way into more and more devices every day.

As voice search marketing implies the inevitability of change in the way search engines act, it is more vital than ever to step up when it comes to digital advertising.

Frequently Asked Questions​

What is the best voice search assistant?


The three most popular apps are Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. A recent survey showed Google Assistant to be superior when it comes to providing correct answers: it had a score of 92.9% right answers, with Siri and Alexa having 83.1% and 79.8%, respectively.

Amazon’s Alexa has been getting immensely popular over the years. The level of integration with household devices it has is unmatched at the moment. The only problem is that its Android app is somewhat restricted, so purchasing Amazon Echo is the only way to enjoy its full potential.

Google Assistant is the unbeatable choice when it comes to Android devices. It has a range of useful features that let the user activate everything from a music app to your kitchen lights. 

With many similar features, Siri was the first voice assistant ever developed. Besides running online searches, Siri can help you set reminders, make calls, send texts, and even book a hotel room. However, it is exclusive to Apple devices.

What percentage of searches are voice searches?


Figures for 2020 predicted that around 50% of all searches were done by voice that year. While this number is probably somewhat lower, the growing market penetration and increasing popularity paint a bright picture for this search industry branch.


When it comes to age groups that use voice command technology, people in the 25–34 age group were most likely to choose this way to search for information, while the group over 45 years old was the least likely to use it.

Now let’s talk about gender distribution. There is a curious disparity between women and men. Men are likely to use it in a plethora of different circumstances; at home, at the office, in a restaurant, even in theaters. On the other hand, women are a lot shyer about using voice commands in public, and they are the most comfortable using it at home alone or with friends. In total, men are 1.72 times more likely to use this technology than women. 

If we look at the differences in annual income, the more people earn, the more likely they are to use voice commands on their smartphones. People who make $100,000+ per year make up 43.4% of all voice search users.


There are plenty of benefits to using voice search over any other manner of browsing. For one, it’s a lot faster than your standard searching method. When it comes to smartphone use, 52% of the surveyed respondents use voice search while driving because it’s more convenient.

One percent fewer indicated they make phone calls using voice commands. Other popular voice inquiries include checking the weather and playing music, each reportedly being used by 49% of consumers.

How much does Google Home cost per month?


Having a free personal Google account is the only requirement for successful use of any of the Google Home devices.

When it comes to the monthly cost, Google Home devices don’t have one. You purchase your device, set up / connect to your account, and you are ready to go.

Is voice search the future?


This technology proved itself to be very tricky to predict. Even so, voice search technology’s growth is undeniable, especially knowing that it is projected that over 5 billion voice assistants will be installed on devices around the world in 2022.

It is also expected that advertising will bring in the most significant revenue for voice assistants, as global ad spending is expected to reach $19 billion worldwide, as shown by voice search statistics.

Sources

Air Designs, Bandt, Cepro, Edison Research, Future of Work Hub, IBM, iMore, Ipervox, Live Mint, Perficient, Search Engine Journal, Socialnomics, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Tech Crunch, Tech Radar, The Eco Experts, The Smart Audio Report, Thrive My Way, Voicebot, Vogo Voice, Vux