amazon echo pop

The music industry’s hype train has long moved on from smart speakers and voice assistants to NFTs, the metaverse and AI. Yet smart speakers are still selling in their tens of millions, and the voice assistants that power them are in even more devices.

Amazon offered a stat for that yesterday, saying that customers have “now purchased well over half a billion Alexa-enabled devices, and use of Alexa increased 35 percent last year”.

The figure came as Amazon unveiled its latest line of Echo smart speakers, including a brand new device: the Echo Pop, which doubles as a Wi-Fi network expander and costs $39.99.

The company is also expanding the availability of its Echo Auto in-car device beyond the US. It’s now also on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the UK.

Research firm IDC recently estimated that 111.7m smart speakers shipped globally last year from all manufacturers, and it expects this to grow relatively slowly to 130.9m by 2027.

Remember, though, that Amazon’s Alexa is built into lots of different kinds of devices, not just speakers.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight