Chart of the Week: What’s the Mobile Reach of Assistant Apps?

Earlier this month, we published Rise of the Machines: How AI-Driven Personal Assistant Apps Are Shaping Digital Consumer Habits, an in-depth look at the world of Siri, Amazon Alexa, and the rapidly-changing assistant app landscape. As part of our research, we examined the habits of U.S. consumers (adults aged 18 and over) to better understand current consumer use of assistant apps – those artificial intelligence-powered apps that can be used on a smartphone.

Personal assistant apps are becoming a big business opportunity. Apple just released a star-powered marketing bid to increase Siri’s cachet, and Amazon is increasing the number of skills, apps, and devices that Alexa can integrate with. So how prevalent are personal assistant apps in consumers’ daily lives today?

How Many People Use Siri or Alexa on a Regular Basis?

Verto Analytics looked at how often consumers use nine of the most popular personal assistant apps (a list that includes Siri, Alexa, and Google Allo) on their smartphones over the course of a month. Verto data shows that 44% of all smartphones in the U.S. (owned by adults ages 18 and over) had a personal assistant app that was used at least once in May 2017. While this is a greater share than the 34% of smartphones that had a search app (such as Wikipedia, Yelp, or the Google search app) installed and used during the same time period, it still significantly lags behind the use of website-based search: 87% of the smartphones in the U.S. had a web browser installed and used a search website during May 2017.

Despite the 44% reach of personal assistant apps, Verto Analytics data shows that the amount of time consumers spend in these apps (as a percentage of total time spent in apps) is still tiny: usage averages about 12 minutes per user, per month – or, less than 0.1% of the total time users spend in smartphone apps overall. The majority of personal assistant apps are still relatively new to the market, and in most cases, the availability of content and use cases remains restrictive. However, the assistant app ecosystem looks set to change rapidly over the next 6-12 months, as new players enter the market and established app and device makers roll out their next product iterations.

Interested in learning more about the personal assistant app ecosystem? Click here to download the full report, Rise of the Machines: How AI-Driven Personal Assistant Apps Are Shaping Digital Consumer Habits.