Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is marking three years in India, and according to the company more customers in non-metro cities bought an Echo device, accounting for over 50 per cent of users in the country in 2020. Amazon also claimed that India’s interactions with Alexa increased 67% last year. Further, customers asked Alexa to control a smart home gadget 8.6 lakh times every day.
While ‘gana sunao‘ or ‘play a song’ was the top request to Alexa at 17 lakh per day, there were some quirky ones as well from the audience in India. For one, customers said “I love you” to Alexa 19,000 times a day in 2020, which is up 1200 per cent from 2019, according to the company. There were also 6000 requests per day asking Alexa ‘Will you marry me’.
Customers put in requests for a ‘joke’ around 9000 times per day. There were 19,000 requests per day asking Alexa to ‘kahani sunao‘ or tell a story, while requests to make an animal sound were at 43,000 times a day.
“Be it the Echo device in the living room, 100+ Alexa built-in devices or your favourite smartphone, it is heart-warming to see users across the length and breadth of the country across age groups find value and adopt Alexa in their daily lives”, Puneesh Kumar, Country Leader for Alexa, Amazon India said.
“For us it is always Day 1 as we learn from our customers and continue to add new features, improving Alexa’s understanding on topics that matter to users locally,” he added. As part of its third anniversary celebrations, Amazon is also announcing a sale on Alexa devices starting 12 midnight on February 15, for 24 hours sellers.
According to Amazon, songs like Shree Hanuman Chalisa, Shaitan Ka Saala, and Baby Shark are amongst the top five most requested songs on Alexa.
Further, the company claims that Alexa customers are not just limited to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore but also include places like Spiti, Bundi, and Gadchiroli. Customers from over 85 percent pin codes purchased Echo smart speakers in 2020, revealed Amazon.
There was also a significant increase in Alexa interactions in last year, especially for guided meditation, workout music, games and learning skills, and content such as mythology, devotional music, stories and shayari. Given more users were stuck at home due to the pandemic, there’s no doubt that many relied on Alexa to help with meditation, workouts.
The year 2020 also saw Amazon’s Alexa being included on various smartphones as a built-in option, similar to how Google Assistant is already present. This lets users activate Alexa by saying the wake word, even when the phone is locked. Brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus are currently offering this on phones like Redmi Note 9 Pro and OnePlus Nord respectively.
Amazon also launched the Alexa on the Amazon Shopping App for Android in 2020. The company revealed that the assistant responded to over 5.8 lakh requests every day.
Amazon says it plans to add new skills to the voice-assistant soon. These include the soon to be launched Macmillan skill to help learn English, news in 12 regional languages and access to the world’s largest collection of shayari in Urdu via the Rekhta skill. It will also add more audio entertainment narrated by celebrities and renowned storytellers to Audible Suno.