Radio STILL Dominates The Car


Despite slick, new, computer-like infotainment systems in every new automobile that rolls off the lot, free radio continues to dominate listening in vehicles.

The competition for the ear of the consumer has never been as fierce as it is today, and finding AM/FM in the DASH is becoming more complicated for a new vehicle buyer. Yet, radio still wins big in the vehicle, according to the latest Infinite Dial research from Edison Research.

Tom Webster presented Edison’s annual Infinite Dial research Wednesday during the opening session of Podcast Movement’s Evolutions.

Webster said 73% of those in the U.S. age 18+ who have ridden in or driven a car in the last month use AM/FM radio as an audio source in-car, “far outpacing the next-closest audio source, owned digital music (used by 53%).”

And, as the chart below shows, even with years of free 6-month subscriptions in nearly every new vehicle, SiriusXM has remained flat. Free AM/FM radio crushes SiriusXM in the car.

While, as we reported last week, in-home radio listening is being challenged by the lack of actual radio’s in the home, as the country gets closer to normal, with more people returning to the office to work, traveling and vacationing, radio continues to rule that ride.


  1. Anytime you have to capitalize “STILL”, you can feel it starting to slip away. No one under 60 really cares about radio…

    • Not true at all. But, what works best is LOCAL radio with LOCAL people who go out to LOCAL concerts and events and BE WITH the LOCAL people. And there’s far too LITTLE of that today

    • Except for the millions of young people who are currently listening to radio in their cars, in their cell phones, in their daily lives.

  2. True Rob. BUT if AM/FM were the new technology, and were leading by this much, the hype would be tremendous. Just because it has declined a bit does not detract from the fact it still dominates.

    • Yep. You have to wonder why folks who denigrate broadcast radio all the time spend (waste?) so much of their (and our) time on a website still dedicated substantially to…broadcast radio???

      There is much demand for broadcast…and there is much demand for streaming services. Both can do well, thank you very much. Listening to each is not an “either/or” proposition.

      If someone wants to come on here and spew, try offering some solutions, as well. No one likes all the “Debbie Downers” who repeatedly comment on this BROADCAST RADIO site.

      • Wrong. Just because someone has a different perspective than you, does not make them “Debbie downers” just because they don’t agree with you. That is a Russia mentality. Radio Ink has always encouraged a free flow of ideas. And while the data here clearly shows vibrancy and a strong performance for in-vehicle radio listening, the trends can be interpreted with different conclusions/opinions.

  3. Kind of a deceptive/self-serving spin. The stat is on those who have “ever”, even once, used a particular media. No look at how much one source is listened to vs another. And from the graph, the headline just as easily could have been “10% fewer people listening to radio *at all* in the car, streaming of owned music in car up by 10%.”


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