The number of Americans who say internet radio is a must-have feature for their in-car infotainment system has dropped ten points compared to a year ago while those who say FM/AM radio is a must rose in the same period. It also remains at the top in usage and interest. Those are some of the findings in a new Strategy Analytics report.
The survey finds 17% of drivers think internet radio is a required feature, down by more than one-third compared to the 27% who said so last year. The report also suggests that, faced with all the new dashboard options, drivers are taking a second look at traditional broadcast radio. More than three-quarters (77%) of those surveyed labeled FM/AM radio a must-have. That’s up five points compared to a year ago.
Strategy Analytics senior analyst Derek Viita says although their data suggests in-car AM/FM radio listening has declined a bit over the past several years, it “remains tops for usage and interest, primarily driven by the desire for up-to-date traffic information without the data connection that most popular traffic apps require.”
Even so, the report does fly some warnings flags of caution for broadcasters. Most notably, the number of Americans who said HD Radio is a must-have dropped significantly. Just 11% say they see digital radio as a must, which is nearly half of the 20% who said that a year ago. And among those who already have an HD Radio receiver, usage decreased slightly.
Meanwhile one-quarter of Americans say they view satellite radio as a must-have in the car. That’s down 10% compared to four years ago, even though daily and weekly usage of SiriusXM Radio remained steady during the past 12 months.
“Some of these trends indicate that the value-added [by the infotainment feature] is not strong enough to warrant wide adoption or re-subscription,” says Chris Schreiner, director of Strategy Analytics’ automotive insights unit IVX. “However, many of these trends are strong indicators that current in-vehicle implementations are not usable or compelling enough to adopt for regular daily use.”
The report also further illustrates the slow and steady decline of the CD player, with a majority of those surveyed saying they no longer classify it as a must-have. Just 43% would demand one in their dashboard. That compares to 53% who want a way to plug in digital devices to listen to stored music files.
“The only source in the U.S. and Europe that continues to show steady (though slow) growth in interest is an in-vehicle connection to apps,” Viita says. He adds that dashboard apps such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that allow drivers to use their preferred app—whether it’s Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn or Spotify, among others—are “uniquely positioned to take advantage of this trend.”
Beyond the car, Strategy Analytics says 49% of Americans report they listen to FM/AM radio on a daily basis. That’s on par with last year’s report, although the number is down from 68% who reported listening to broadcast radio every day four years ago.
In one of the more surprising findings in the survey, the number who said they listen to internet radio each day fell by a third to 13%. At the same time one in five reported listening to streaming radio each week, an increase of 17% compared to last year’s report.
via Inside Radio