Bridge Ratings: Cell Phones Impact In Car Listening
February 21, 2006 at 5:57 PM (PT)
BRIDGE RATINGS recently completed its first six-month analysis of in-car cell phone use and its potential impact on other in-car listening including that of radio. A wireless company commissioned the study during '05 as part of a multi-year consumer study. 2000 cell phone users 18+ were interviewed about their in-car behavior regarding cell phone talk time and in-car radio listening.
"There is a direct link between cell phone use in-car and true radio listening," says BRIDGE RATINGS Pres. DAVE VAN DYKE. "The more time a commuter spends talking on their cell phone the less time they are spending actually listening to the radio. We noted that a significant percentage of drivers either turned their radios down or off when engaged in a cell phone call. The implications are clear: the cell phone is vying for true time spent listening in car!"
Of the 209 million total cell phone subscribers in the U.S. (72% penetration), the study found that 56% use their cell phones in-car at least once per week up from 40% in 2001. While the average length of cell phone call from all users has risen from 2.74 minutes in 2001 to 3.29 minutes in 2005, the length of in-car cell phone calls is, on average, 33% longer.
"We also found that the number of in-car calls has risen over time for this group," continued VAN DYKE. "From 2.1 calls per commute in 2001 to 3.1 calls in 2005. Cumulative time spent talking in 2005 on average was almost 13.5 minutes per commute while true in-car radio listening amongst this group has fallen from 36 minutes in 2003 to 26 minutes in 2005. Our study suggests that the 27% slip in in-car listening over this time may have been impacted by the 29% increase in time-spent-talking."