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Regular AM/FM radio still dominates in-car listening as the top platform used!

While Consumers Use New Streaming Services, They Want AM/FM Radio To Remain The Same; Over 9 In 10 Want The Way They Operate Their Car Radio to Remain Unchanged, And Would Not Want It Changed Into a Dashboard App

In the Car, CD Usage is Over Three Times That of Largest Digital Music Service

March 2, 2015 ­ New York, NY ­ A research study conducted by Ipsos, a leading global independent market research company, makes it clear that AM/FM radio remains the overwhelmingly preferred audio entertainment option in the car.

While consumers use new streaming services, virtually all consumers ­ 99% -- are comfortable with the current AM/FM in-car radio operation.  And 91% of consumers say they prefer physical AM/FM radio buttons and controls built into the car dashboard, rather than AM/FM being an app that appears in the car's electronic interface (with only 9% saying they would want it changed into a dashboard app).

An additional eye-opening finding was that while AM/FM radio remains paramount in the car, consumers use their in-car CD player three and a half times as much as they use any digital music service.

The survey also detailed other facts highlighting the unparalleled importance to consumers of AM/FM radio in the car; the demand for digital services is increasing, but they are still behind AM/FM radio, the CD player and satellite radio:

  • AM/FM radio still dominates in-car listening as the top platform used, with 84% of consumers using it in the car, followed by CD players at 64% -- but radio still maintains a huge leadership position over the next closest service choice, Sirius/XM ­ which had 22%.  Pandora was 18%; iHeartRadio was 8%; HD Radio 7%; and Spotify was 7%.
  • 80% of consumers chose AM/FM car radio as the top option for their car's entertainment system, followed by the CD player at 68%, satellite radio at 45%, and a streaming music service at 34%.

Overall, this study makes it clear that in spite of consumers' love of apps and new digital products, they have a great attachment to their AM/FM radio and an overwhelming desire to keep its operation and function as it is," said Thomas Spinelli, Vice President of Ipsos MediaCT.  "The in-car AM/FM radio is still a universally known audio platform ­ and its ease of use, convenience, features and familiarity continue to make it a top consumer choice for in-car audio."

Spinelli added, "This study shows that the consumer isn't replacing existing services and products with new ones; instead, they want them all -- making the car even more music-enabled with a number of choices at any given time."

The study, conducted by Ipsos for iHeartMedia in January 2015, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1036 adults 18+. 

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