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Infinite Dial: Connected Car, YouTube Growing

Almost three-quarters of smartphone owners use it to listen to radio online, according to findings

Now that we’ve reported on the main conclusions of the latest “Infinite Dial” study, we’ll cover other interesting tidbits.

To refresh, the main points of the 23rd study from Edison Research and Triton Digital are that online audio has arrived, online audio consumption in-car is growing and podcasting is increasingly becoming mainstream.

Online audio in particular is now a “mainstream” activity for those under 55, according to the findings.

YouTube is used for music by 63% of the total population, and 90% of the 12–24 demo.

Overall, friends and family are the top resource for music discovery at 70%, followed by AM/FM at 69% and YouTube at 61%. Though AM/FM remains strong, it’s being challenged by other sources, especially among the younger demos.

Some 71% of Americans now own a smartphone, and 73% of those owners use it to listen to radio online.

In the car, 35% of those device owners tether that device to the dash to listen to online audio. That’s compared to 26% a year ago and 6% in 2010. Fifty-nine percent of respondents age 12 to 24 say they tether their smartphone for in-car online listening, compared to 39% of those age 25 to 54. Just 10% of those age 55+ do so.

The findings don’t say whether the tethering is with a cable or wirelessly, however we’ve reported that increasingly, young people don’t want to connect anything physical to the dash, preferring a Bluetooth connection.

Ten percent of respondents said they have an in-dash system that allows them to receive information and entertainment over the Internet in their primary car, compared to 8% last year and 6% in 2013.

However when asked how important is it that their next new car or lease has such a system, 41% said the capability is “not at all important” to them, 24% answered “not very important” and 17% said it is “somewhat important.” Fifteen percent said such capability is “very important” and 3% said they “don’t know.”

Overall, respondents are age 12+, however the in-car answers are from respondents age 18+ who had either driven or ridden in a car in the last month. The phone survey was fielded in January and February of this year.