Edison Research Finds AM/FM Listeners Switch 22 Times Per Commute
April 7, 2016 at 4:40 PM (PT)
In a newly released study, EDISON RESEARCH finds that even as in-car audio use continues to evolve, Americans remain “button punchers.” Nearly 75% of those who consume audio in the car are likely to switch at least occasionally over the course of their commute. The average user of AM/FM radio switches the station 22 times per commute, while those using other platforms switch an average of 9.3 times per commute.
That’s just one of the findings of EDISON RESEARCH’s “Hacking the Commuter Code,” a national survey of those who commute 20 minutes or more daily, alone in a car or truck. New methodology from EDISON allowed the company to capture the actual, second-by-second behavior of commuters across the country. “Hacking the Commuter Code” finds that there is a wide variance in behavior among in-car audio users, with results depending on age, the type of content being consumed (e.g., music vs. spoken-word), and access to streaming or satellite radio or integrated multi-media systems.
There are also significant differences between types of users. “Hacking the Commuter Code” identifies three discrete groups:
- The Restless – those who constantly switch (21%)
- The Seekers — those who switch occasionally (52%)
- The Keepers – those who mostly stick one with choice (27%)
“Hacking the Commuter Code” looks at how in-car audio users react to hearing commercials. But it also finds that listeners switch for a variety of reasons — not just in reaction to commercial breaks, but also an ongoing quest for a better song.
“We’re very excited to be bringing new and unique information to the advertising, audio, and broadcast communities,” said EDISON Pres. LARRY ROSIN. “This is an entirely new research design to help answer definitively what has only been speculated about until now. We’re confident that ‘Hacking the Commuter Code’ will take its place alongside Edison’s ‘Share of Ear’ and ‘Infinite Dial’ studies."
The Pandora Perspective
PANDORA offered its own perspective on the findings. What struck them as particularly relevant were:
* Seven out of 10 drivers don’t listen to the full commercial break when listening to AM/FM radio. But it’s not just the ads that are causing them to switch; it’s equally due to repetitive, un-personalized playlists.
* Drivers switch AM/FM stations 2X times more per commute compared to other audio sources.
* Personalized audio in a low-clutter environment simply results in more driver attention.
* Commuters are switching AM/FM radio stations 22 times in each direction of their daily commute. They know that radio stations often play 10 or more commercials in a row. They also know that they can avoid them with a simple push of a preset.
* Nearly half of drivers listening to AM/FM don’t last through the first commercial.
* Around 40% of drivers told Edison that they connect their phones to their cars “regularly” in order to hear the songs they want.