KnowDigital presented the results of a new study focused on Internet radio listening in cars at RAIN Summit West which revealed that Internet radio is – despite technological challenges – already in cars, and many of those who listen to Internet radio on a weekly basis have already found a way to listen in their cars.
“Despite these challenges, it appears that in-car streaming radio is far from the “next frontier.” according to the study presented by VP Sam Milkman. While obstacles such as technological ease, smartphone battery use, and data plan expenses were of concern to some, 71% of those who listen regularly to Internet radio are already listening in their cars.
90% of those listeners are also listening to terrestrial radio in the car, and Milkman points out that broadcast radio continues to be a choice out of habit, ease of use and live and local content such as traffic, news, weather, and personalities. Broadcasters should continue to focus on these services as they brace for the coming wave of Internet radio in cars, he advises.
As new devices emerge to put Internet radio into the dashboard of the car, consumers will be forced to choose which stations they want to lock into presets. KnowDigital found that when offered the chance to program up to ten presets, consumers only chose to program five of those positions. This means that as the in-car audio system opens up to offer on-air and online audio options, terrestrial broadcasters will have to sharpen their skills to hang onto a preset. “There only appears to be interest in one or two FM stations,” cautions the study.
According to this study, it’s game-on for in car Internet radio. As newer devices make access and listening easier, the stakes will get higher. It’s important that stations develop strategies and relationships that enable them to leverage the car streaming opportunity.