Amazon has been improving its smart speakers and adding new features to them, but users don’t need them — Bloomberg

The company conducted internal research and found out that new customers stop using the speaker after two weeks, and most only ask the device to turn on music.

Since 2015, Amazon expected that the demand for the company’s “smart” speakers would grow during the holidays, but it was not possible to support it at least until the end of January, Bloomberg writes.
According to internal data, in some years from 15% to 25% of new customers stopped using the column two weeks after purchase.
The publication studied the company’s internal documents from 2018 to 2021 on the promotion of “smart” speakers, including Amazon’s plans to add more cameras and sensors to devices to recognize different voices or determine where users are.
In 2021, an internal analysis showed that the smart speaker market has “passed the growth phase”, and in the next few years it will grow by only 1.2% annually.
According to the documents, Amazon cites several reasons for the slowdown in growth:
Users’ concern about privacy issues after a former employee said that the company was listening to users to improve the operation of devices.
High-profile cases of speaker failures — for example, when the device took some phrases as commands, recorded a conversation of a married couple and sent the recording to one of their acquaintances.
People consider the Alexa voice assistant useless.
The company said that the data received by the publication “is either outdated or inaccurate” and denied the information about the slowdown in growth.
Amazon was the first to release its own “smart” column — Echo, the company wanted to attract users to its other services through devices and make a profit, Bloomberg notes.
Amazon has estimated that in 2020, 25% of American families have at least one device with Alexa. At the same time, many of them use the device only to turn on music or lights or set a timer during cooking. The company plans to introduce new ways of interacting with users. For example, she wants to release Alexa-enabled headphones, a car app, and more.
A 2019 study says that new users of Alexa speakers learned about half of the functions they would actually use within three hours of turning on the device. The employees also found out that despite Amazon’s efforts to improve devices, the overall user engagement is not growing.
Also in recent years, the speakers themselves have begun to offer owners to use features that may be of interest to them. But this only annoyed the users and they wanted to disable the feature.
A Reddit user complained that every time he asks Alexa to do something, he gets: “By the way, I can offer birthday gift ideas so that you buy more things on Amazon.”
“No, Alexa! Just tell me about the weather forecast,” the user wrote. Such disappointment explains why some turn off the company’s device and refuse to use it, Bloomberg notes.

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