Radio Listening Will Drop Once WiFi, WiMax Entrenched In-Car

Bridge Ratings says traditional and satellite radio will take a significant hit in listening about a decade after WiFi and WiMax technologies are available in-car.
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Bridge Ratings says traditional and satellite radio will take a significant hit in listening about a decade after WiFi and WiMax technologies are available in-car.

This summer, Bridge Ratings surveyed consumers and device and auto manufacturers to explore the implications of wireless Internet and the availability of wireless Internet radio. This study projects that WiFi in-car should reach more than 50% of the U.S. population after nine years of market availability.

According to Bridge, of the estimated 30 million users of wireless access technology in the U.S., 75% or 23 million have wireless-accessed Internet radio. In fact, 48% of those accessing the Internet via wireless technology seek out Internet radio. The number of Internet radio listeners accessing wirelessly will grow to 77 million by 2010 as wireless technology penetrates the U.S. lifestyle.

Wireless Internet use in-car faces hurdles based on WiMax technology development, how quickly auto manufacturers are able to equip new cars and what type of early adopter consumer will want the technology.

In the study of 2,200 people age 16+, Bridge asked early adopters how likely they would be to buy a car or equip a current vehicle with a wireless Internet device.

By the fifth year of in-car WiFi acceptance, traditional radio can expect to see the amount of time spent listening to fall below 19 hours a week; by year eight, when Bridge projects that more than 23% of the public will have adopted wireless Internet technology in-car, weekly time spent listening to traditional radio will fall below 18 hours per week.

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