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Data Says AM/FM Radio Still Leads in Automotive Environment

Numbers from latest Infinite Dial also suggest a drop in vehicle use

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 Infinite Dial, automotive audio, car audio, Edison Research, 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.

[Read: Despite Disruptions in 2020, Media Consumption Trends Upwards]

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.

The Infinite Dial, automotive audio, car audio, Edison Research, Triton Digital

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.

The Infinite Dial, automotive audio, car audio, Edison Research, Triton Digital

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.

The Infinite Dial, automotive audio, car audio, Edison Research, Triton Digital, Apple Car Play, Android Auto

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%.

 

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