New Data Shows Ford Lacks Focus In Cutting AM


A recent sticking point in the battle for AM’s future in the dashboard was when Ford announced they would be removing the band from all future vehicles globally. The automaker may come to regret that move – it turns out one of AM’s most loyal fanbases is Ford owners.

Westwood One’s Audio Active Group released a comprehensive analysis of listening data from various sources of the 82 million Americans who still listen to AM radio each month.

Ford owners represent 20% of all U.S. AM radio listeners, according to MRI Simmons, and are more likely to listen to AM radio than the U.S. average. Additionally, owners of major Ford vehicle models over-index on AM listening. General Motors vehicle owners represent 23% of American AM radio listeners.

The analysis also shows that 57% of the AM radio audience listens to News/Talk stations, and AM/FM radio dominates listening in the car with an 88% share of ad-supported audio. Additionally, the analysis reveals that agencies and advertisers underestimate AM/FM radio shares and overestimate Pandora and Spotify audiences.

Outside the realm of AM but still in the car, Audio Active Group commissioned Advertiser Perceptions to survey media agencies and advertisers on their awareness, interest, and willingness to pay for in-dash visuals that sync to AM/FM radio ads. The survey found that there was greater awareness of the technology, increased interest, and more willingness to pay. Those who were “somewhat familiar/very familiar” with the technology grew from 39% in 2021 to 52% in 2022. Those who were “somewhat interested/very interested” grew from 64% to 74%. In 2022, marketers and media agencies felt 14% was a fair price increase to pay for in-car visuals, up from 12% in 2021.


  1. Too many distractions already. Here we go again competing for the “Almighty dollar” I say enough already. Concentrate on driving safely!

  2. Phil G. is half right. There are dozens of distractions on the way from point “A” to point “B”. Making artist info, commercial details and more can only make the highways more dangerous. I once bought a BMW 7-series because it had a TV screen in the dashboard. Analog TV didn’t work well when moving so it was pretty worthless. Thank GOD I didn’t get distracted by that. The other half- makes those of us who were weaned on AM radio fail to realize that it’s not an issue with many under 50. Make it easy to play their Spotify or (insert streaming service) and they’ll be happy. Many younger folks are disillusioned by broadcasting’s censoring or lack of material that relates to them. That solution is very difficult to deal with in a country that’s deeply divided on many issues, many much more important than an “f” bomb here and there.

  3. Pay for in-dash visuals to accompany AM/FM radio ads? Are you guys nuts? Sure, let’s get a driver to take his/her eyes off the road on a busy highway and run into the path of a tractor trailer! The last thing we need is more driver distraction.

    A good argument in favor of retaining AM and FM radio is that it costs nothing to listen to broadcast stations. Wireless internet, streaming, cellular services…all of these come with a monthly bill. In many rural areas, wireless service is poor. Cows and horses don’t need smartphones.

    I drive a Ford Focus and it has an excellent radio. I listen to AM for news and sports and have already given my feedback to Ford Motor Company: When it’s time for me to buy a new car, No AM–no Ford! (Unless I can rip the digital stuff out of the dashboard and install an aftermarket radio.)

  4. Any agency or advertiser worth their salt doesn’t care about radio shares — they care about audience totals. Share is a sales metric.


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