Despite the fact that traditional AM/FM broadcasting is at the century mark, it still leads all newcomers in the in-car media ecosphere.
That’s according to The Infinite Dial 2021’s latest data. The annual Infinite Dial is prepared by Edison Research and Triton Digital.
The numbers suggest that AM/FM radio holds a commanding lead at 75%. Owned digital music holds a distant second place with 48%, followed by the CD player, online audio, podcasts and Sirius XM. It bears noting that AM/FM broadcasting’s automotive lead is slowly slipping away, having been at 81% in 2019 and 2020.
Another entertainment technology that is rapidly disappearing in the rear view mirror is the car CD player, as more vehicles from the 1990s and early 2000s have a date with the scrapyard. To put this in perspective, the CD player came in second with 63%, behind AM/FM’s 84% in the 2013 Infinite Dial report. The most recent figures place the CD player third with 35% of audio sources ever used in the car.
Also trending down, according to The Infinite Dial 2021, is the percent of respondents driving/riding in a car/vehicle in the past month. Their 2020 data suggests 87% were cruising monthly, and that number fell this year to 83%. That’s not hard to understand when one considers the pandemic lockdown, employment statistics, and that rush hour traffic in many cities has become a thing of the past.
New automotive technologies continued to make gains in 2020, according to Triton and Edison Research data. The percent owning in-dash information and entertainment systems crept up from 18–20% over the past year. Data for online audio listening in-car through a cellphone suggests an increase from 45–50% over the past year.
A new category introduced to the 2021 Infinite Dial is the percent having an integrated mobile operating system in their primary vehicle. The numbers say Apple Car Play has 10%, while Android Auto has 8%.