KnowDigital Finds That 'The Future Is Now' For In-Car Streaming Radio
April 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM (PT)
KNOWDIGITAL has released a new study, "Challenges and Opportunities for In-Car Streaming Radio," which reveals consumer perceptions and expectations of in-car streaming audio services. These insights were previewed in a presentation delivered two weeks ago at the RAIN SUMMIT WEST in LAS VEGAS. The study is part of an ongoing effort by KNOWDIGITAL to provide research-based "Quick Looks" at various new media issues of interest by conducting in-depth interviews with "real" consumers.
"Our discussions with streaming radio users make it clear that when it comes to the medium’s usage in cars, the future is now," said KNOWDIGITAL Pres. SAM MILKMAN, who delivered the presentation at the RAIN SUMMIT WEST. "Many industry insiders think of streaming radio as primarily an at-work and at-home medium, but the majority of users we interviewed reported engaging in this activity in their cars. Furthermore, they look forward to services that will make it easier for them to do so."
KNOWDIGITAL completed the study with 18- to 44-year-olds who reported listening to streaming radio for at least 20 minutes in the previous week. These consumers participated in one-on-one, 30-minute interviews with KNOWDIGITAL personnel, who assessed these consumers’ usage of streaming radio and other media and presented them with potential new options for consuming streaming audio in their vehicles.
Among the study’s key findings are:
* Roughly two-thirds of those interviewed reported some level of streaming radio usage in their cars. This was primarily through the use of smartphones, which consumers frequently plugged into their vehicles’ audio jack; some consumers, however, reported listening by simply using their smartphones' external speaker. Thus, the idea that streaming radio listeners using the medium in cars is predominately a futuristic phenomenon appears invalid.
* Most users of in-car streaming radio continue to use over-the-air radio extensively. In fact, this is the audio source in-car audio streamers use first when entering their vehicles, often citing the information elements and personality-driven morning shows that they view as unique to over-the-air radio as their reason for doing so. This suggests that over-the-air radio can combat the threat posed by in-car streaming radio by delivering unique, compelling content.
* The majority of streaming radio users express strong interest in better technical solutions for listening in their cars, including after-market devices and factory-installed in-dashboard systems. This portrays a greater willingness on the part of consumers to pay for these technologies than many pundits assume.
* While consumers are enthusiastic about the exponential increase in listening options in-car streaming radio provides, most anticipate limiting their usage to roughly five options when in-dash systems become more widely available. The typical consumer KNOWDIGITAL interviewed described programming a button for their phone, one or two for over-the-air radio stations, one for their personal music library and one for PANDORA. Thus, many over-the-air radio stations and audio streaming services could be "crowded out" by the arrival of in-dash systems.
A streaming video of the "Challenges and Opportunities for In-Car Streaming Radio" preview presentation KNOWDIGITAL delivered at RAIN SUMMIT WEST is now available for free viewing at the company’s website www.knowDigital.com. The site also features a summary report of the study’s findings for free download.