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Consumers Prefer In-Car Music Via AM/FM/CD

IHS Automotive identifies consumer trends for apps, technology in new vehicles

Nearly 70% of consumers surveyed by IHS Automotive indicated they would continue listening to music in their car using AM/FM radio or the CD player.

These results mirror those of a recent survey by Ipsos Radio World reported on.

However, a similar number of IHS respondents prefer listening to music stored on their mobile devices, and Internet/streaming radio, satellite radio options and a desire for music stored on an in-vehicle hard drive also were listed as options.

The results are part of “Apps in the Car 2015,” in which IHS surveyed 4,000 vehicle owners who intend to buy a new car soon.

The results span the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and China. Ninety percent of respondents own a smartphone. “Not surprisingly, these devices have wide implications for consumer behavior while driving and influence consumer expectations on how vehicles and apps should integrate with them,” said Colin Bird, senior analyst, automotive software, apps and services at IHS Automotive.

In 2014, approximately 132 billion mobile apps were downloaded worldwide, with revenue of more than $25 billion, according to IHS research. Of that total, iOS developers brought in more than $10 billion.

The findings are significant as automakers continue to develop and refine their infotainment systems — and the apps they include — or don’t. We’ve reported OEMs prefer apps over dedicated hardware, like a button, because they can swap them out more easily as consumer tastes change.

Nearly 45% of respondents agree that they would use in-vehicle apps if they helped enhance the driving experience, with 35% of them reporting they’d be most willing to use them if they were similar to those on their smartphone. In addition, nearly 75% of respondents indicated they would be willing to pay for updates to an app, paving the way for continued growth.

The top five categories that consumers identified as a favorite for use in their vehicles are, in order: navigation (53%), weather (40%), music (38%), news (33%) and social networking (29%).

IHS Automotive forecasts include sales projections for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. The full survey is available for purchase.