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Strategy Analytics Report Finds In-Car Terrestrial Radio at Risk

Says streaming and satellite radio are the new “must-haves” for media in the dash

The In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at market researcher Strategy Analytics has issued a new report on car owners’ usage of, and interest in, audio infotainment sources in the car.

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In a study carried out across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and China, it discovered that after several years of “explosive interest,” consumer demand for smartphone mirroring systems has leveled off.

“As more mirroring systems come to market in high-volume cars, and more non-early-adopting segments are exposed to them, their limitations are becoming apparent,” the report stated. “But despite this, most embedded systems still do not provide better UX [user experience] than smartphone mirroring systems.”

[Read: Are Touchscreen Radios Safe?]

According to the study, radio usage is in “fast decline” across the U.S., Europe, and China, even though in the west it remains important for some key consumer segments. It also finds that car owners are sending mixed signals on the next-best “must have” after radio. “Flat user interfaces which allow easy access to all audio/media sources will be more important than ever for the next model turn,” it found. In addition, the report exhibits that in the “search for a next successor to the CD player, streaming media has shown a remarkable surge in usage and interest,” as regards owned media on portable devices.

“The UX of embedded systems still does not exceed smartphone mirroring systems, essentially driving car owners to CarPlay and Android Auto leaving infotainment devoid of any brand differentiation,” commented Derek Viita, senior analyst and report author. “Given these shifting infotainment usage habits and consumers’ shifting interest in what is a ‘must-have’ for the next car purchase, designers and product planners must tread carefully in future product lines.”

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