Smart Speaker 220

Smart speaker listening to podcasts has been small so far, but the holiday season may have helped change that. Sales of smart speakers and wearables ruled the season with the apps for Amazon’s Echo line of products and Google’s Nest family touting record download numbers on Christmas Day. The New York Post is reporting that Amazon’s Alexa app had 262,000 downloads globally, according to research firm Apptopia, with 135,000 downloads in the U.S. Google Home beat that number with 303,000 global downloads, and was second best in the U.S. with 98,500.

All of these numbers reflect significant growth in the market compared to last year. On Christmas 2018, the Alexa app saw 234,000 global downloads and 142,000 domestic, while Google had 278,000 and 91,000 respectively.

Fitbit, which was recently acquired by Google, also saw an increase in popularity, with its app being downloaded 130,000 times on Christmas, up from 122,000 in 2018.

The results helped to lift Amazon shares by $79.56, to $1,868.77. Google shares, meanwhile, were up by $16.84, or 1.3%, to $1,360.40.

These numbers are in line with the results of Parks Associates’ new Q4 2019 survey of 10,000 broadband households, which found that 29% of these households now own a smart home device, a 20% growth rate from one year ago.