The Future Of Radio In The Car Discussion Makes It To USA Today
March 25, 2013 at 4:41 AM (PT)
The discussion over the battle for the car dashboard has made it very mainstream -- with USA TODAY writing, "Radio broadcasters face being squeezed off the dial as stereo makers offer an array of new apps with thousands of new listening options in new cars," but concludes traditional radio is likely to remain the first choice for most consumers.
The report notes that new audio units "not only offer satellite or HD radio, but apps that bundle signals from Internet radio broadcasters across the country. The result is that conventional broadcasters are being forced to adapt by emphasizing quality local or targeted content, working different distribution channels or maybe becoming part of a bundle themselves," and adds "The competitive path will only get tougher as the newest stereo units arrive either through new car purchases or the aftermarket."
Webcasters and various apps in the car are likened to cut into traditional radio much as magazines and newspapers have lost readership to bloggers and other content creators on the web, but USA TODAY noted that "So far, though, radio broadcasters haven't see a ratings drop-off, even among younger listeners, ARBITRON reports. Nearly six of 10 adults listen to AM/FM radio either all or most of the time they are in the car, the ratings agency reports, far ahead of listening to CDs at 15%, portable digital players at 11% or satellite radio at 10%."
Despite much talk about AM/FM radio potentially disappearing from the dashboard, automakers "have no plans to yank radios from cars," the article finds. "We see a bright future for radio," said GENERAL MOTORS spokesman SCOTT FOSGARD. "While AM/FM is not at 'peril,' FORD MOTOR spokesman ALAN HALL told the paper, 'you're going to see more options' for in-car entertainment amid 'fierce' competition."