iPad and newspaper

Radio still dominates in cars?

Updated on December 10, 2021

Despite the dominance of streaming audio and digital music everywhere else (ignoring the improbable resurgence of vinyl), there’s supposedly one place where old-fashioned AM/FM radio still dominates, and that’s in cars. A survey of drivers by Edison Research states that 84% of drivers use the radio at least part of the time. Surprisingly, CD players are also still heavily used, according to the survey.

Live traffic updates and cellular dead zones might be two factors in radio’s favor, along with being available for free and built into every car by default. However, I assume this number will dwindle with time as streaming media via mobile devices continue their growth, plus improvements to mobile tech.

There’s also no indication in the survey what drivers are listening to that keeps them from switching to Spotify, podcasts, etc. Nielsen ratings figures suggest it’s the usual traditional radio genres: top 40, country, news/talk, R&B, etc.

Here’s an infographic summing up the survey’s results.

Infographic: Radio Still Rules The Road | Statista
Infographic from Statista (CC BY-ND)

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