The popularity of voice-enabled products like the Amazon Echo will explode in coming years, said entrepreneur and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk in a new interview.
“Everybody who's watching this video is going to do a lot more things with Alexa and Google Home and Apple Pod than they think today,” Vaynerchuk says. “Order every single food that they all eat. All of it.”
Last year, management consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants predicted that voice-enabled products will grow to a $40 billion industry by 2022. The proportion of U.S. homes using smart speakers will rise from 13% last year to 55% by 2022, the firm’s survey found.
As of February, Amazon Echo accounted for 70% of smart home market share in the U.S., while Google Home followed with 24% and Apple’s SmartPod stood at 6%, according to data firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Amazon is a strong investment due to this potential shift in tech use, said Vaynerchuk, an investor in companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Venmo.
“Unless the government gets involved...I would buy Amazon stock in perpetuity until Jeff Bezos no longer runs the company,” he says.
Vaynerchuk made the comments to Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a conversation that aired on Yahoo Finance in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
Beginning his career in e-commerce, Vaynerchuk grew his family’s New Jersey wine business from a brick-and-mortar store that made $3 million annuals sales into a $60 million-a-year online operation. In 2009 he co-founded VaynerMedia, a digital ad agency that has grown to more than 800 employees and works with companies like Pepsi and JPMorgan Chase.
He also puts out a daily video series and regular podcast called “The GaryVee Audio Experience,” in which he offers business advice.
‘Brand is about to become even more important’
Vaynerchuk said the rise of voice-enabled products will place further emphasis on the strength of company brands.
“This is where branding comes in: ‘I want a quinoa salad.’ If you say that to Alexa, Amazon now has a lot of leverage. What quinoa salad are they going to send you? Their own private label? Is some brand going to pay $500 to be the affiliate?” he says.
“So you better say, I want Sweetgreen’s quinoa salad,” he adds. “Which is why brand is about to become so much more—brand has always been the most important—brand is about to become even more important because we're going to an audio-centric world, not a visual-centric.”
Andy Serwer is editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance.