The latest numbers from Edison Research and Triton Digital’s 2019 The Infinite Dial show that things have remained rather stable in the in-car media environment for the past three years. That shouldn’t be too surprising, when one considers that most people don’t go out and buy a new car every year.
The good news for radio is that AM-FM remains the top source for news and entertainment. When respondents listed audio sources currently ever used in the car, radio comes in at 81%. Owned digital music and the CD player were almost tied for a distant second, with 45% and 43% respectively. CD use has declined from 52% in 2017, however, reflecting, perhaps, the purchase of new cars which no longer have a CD player.
One significant uptick the research suggested was an increase from 12% to 16% in the combined listening to online and podcasts in cars. These numbers seem to affirm the increased listening in the home, and suggest a growing interest in these newer mediums.
The numbers for “online audio listening in car through a cellphone” dropped from 42% in 2018 to 41% this year. At first, this may seem odd. Triton and Edison suggest that it indicates that more people are using in-dash entertainment systems, and don’t need to plug a cellphone in any longer. And indeed, their numbers for use of these systems showed an increase from 15% in 2018 to 19% in 2019.