Amazon.com’s (AMZN) tight grip on the market for smart speakers is starting to loosen. A research firm predicts Amazon’s share in the market will slip below two-thirds in the U.S. in 2019, while Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google will make major gains.

EMarketer predicted Thursday that Amazon’s Echo family of smart speakers with the Alexa voice assistant will have 63.3% of the user base in the U.S. in 2019. That’s down from 66.6% this year, it said.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Google will increase its share of the user base to 31% in 2019 from 29.5% this year. Alphabet sells Google Home smart speakers with its Google Assistant voice-response technology.

All other vendors will combine for 12% of the user base next year, up from 8.3% in 2018, eMarketer predicted. Other players in the market include Apple (AAPL) with HomePod, Sonos (SONO) with Sonos One and Facebook (FB) with its Portal smart screen.

“Amazon has remained relevant by plugging Alexa into premium speakers like the Sonos, but even Sonos plans to bring Google Assistant to its devices next year, keeping the two companies neck and neck in the voice assistant race,” eMarketer analyst Jaimie Chung in a blog post.

Next year, 74.2 million people in the U.S. will use smart speakers, up 15% over 2018, eMarketer said.

While smart speakers have grown in capabilities, most people use them for basic functions. Listening to music and asking questions about weather, traffic and news are the most common uses, eMarketer said.

Check Out Google’s Video, Ya Filthy Animal
Smart speakers have been big promotional items this holiday season for Amazon and Google.

On Wednesday, Google posted a funny video in which actor Macaulay Culkin reprises the role of Kevin McCallister from the 1990 Christmas movie “Home Alone.” In the video, called “Home Alone Again with the Google Assistant,” an adult Kevin uses the Google Assistant to stay productive, entertained and safe while home alone.

Also this week, Google Assistant scored the highest for accuracy in a test of voice assistants by Loup Ventures. The venture capital firm posted the results of its annual smart speaker IQ test on Thursday.

Loup Ventures tested Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Cortana using 800 spoken questions each.

Google Assistant was able to answer 88% of them correctly vs. Siri at 75%, Alexa at 73% and Cortana at 63%. Last year, Google Assistant was able to answer 81% correctly vs. Siri at 52%, Alexa at 64% and Cortana at 56%.

Publication: Investor’s Business Daily| Amazon Echo Seen Losing Ground To Rival Smart Speakers In 2019

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