Despite wildly complicated looking infotainment screens in new vehicles, easily adaptable smartphone connections and WiFi, AM/FM radio is still king when it comes to what consumers listen to in their vehicles.
According to the latest Infinite Dial data, released Thursday by Edison Research and Triton Digital, 75% of the 1,057 people interviewed in the 2021 survey say they listened to radio in their vehicles over the last month. That’s down from 81% in 2020 but it’s still number one by far with owned digital music a distant 2nd at 48%.
It’s also important to keep in mind that, according to the Infinite Dial survey, the percentage of Americans who’ve driven or ridden in a car in the last month decreased due to the pandemic from 88% in 2020 to 83% this year.
Radio listening in the automobile has always been, and continues to be, one of radio’s biggest strengths, despite years of increased competition.
Today radio is fighting off battles with new car infotainment systems that include everything from digital channels to Satellite Radio to maps and extensive backup cameras.
Add to that the ability of the consumer to easily connect their smartphone to the vehicle and new technology that enable smart speaker devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, to connect in any vehicle by plugging into a power outlet.
The dashboard space is busier than it’s ever been and radio is still winning the fight.