Commentary

Audio Sources Shifting With Connected Devices

Long before fully autonomous cars will come more connectivity in cars, creating the potential for more entertainment options.

As it stands now, many people listen to radio when in their cars, according to a new study.

The age groups who listen to AM or FM radio in their car and nowhere else on a given day vary, with 62% of those 13 to 34, 58% of those 35 to 54 and 46% of those older than 55, according to Edison Research’s latest syndicated Share of Ear tracking study.

The study comprised a national survey of 4,300 Americans measuring time spent listening to audio sources.  Respondents completed a 24-hour diary of their audio listening on an assigned day.

Connected cars and connected home devices are driving consumers to streaming services and away from traditional radio. The 5% annual decline in AM and FM time spent grew to 7% in the last year, according to the study.

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Consumers ages 25 to 54 are leading the adoption of connected car and connected home devices -- and are also the leading demographic for podcast listening.

If current trends continue, nearly all of the roughly 80 million new cars sold in the U.S. will have advanced infotainment systems or Bluetooth capability. As consumers transfer their time to smart speakers, mobile and other connected devices, most (90%) consumption will be other than AM or FM radio, according to the study.

Drivers of newer cars listen to a third less traditional radio than drivers of the oldest cars, according to Edison.

Connected media devices and streaming audio service have impacted traditional radio, with the minutes of daily time spent listening dropping from 137 minutes in 2014 to 104 minutes now. For consumers 18 to 34, that time of listening dropped from 114 minutes in 2014 to 68 minutes today.

The four hours of audio in time spent that Americans hear every day has not changed, according to the study.

The change is where that audio is coming from.

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