Streaming Media and COVID-19 Combine Forces Against In-Car Radio, Finds Strategy Analytics

Android Automotive and Embedded Media Apps Will Put Additional Pressure On Radio

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Strategy Analytics – After years of dominance, traditional radio has reached a turning point in 2020. Powered by strong usage and desirability among key car-buying groups in China, and increasing usage among key groups in the West, streaming media has continued its march onto the dashboard. The COVID-19 pandemic and its related lockdowns have also severely curtailed regular commuting journeys, where much of consumers’ radio-listening originates. This has led to a marked decline in AM/FM usage in-car, and a steep decline in interest of radio as a “must-have” feature.

A new report from the Strategy Analytics’ In-Vehicle UX (IVX) service, “2020 Infotainment Report: COVID-19 Brings Challenges for In-Car Radio”, has surveyed car owners across the US, China, and Western Europe to investigate usage of in-car infotainment including AM/FM radio, streaming media, and other sources. 2020 is the year that in-car AM/FM radio has hit the proverbial ‘iceberg’.

Commented Derek Viita, report author and Senior Analyst IVX, “In terms of daily in-car use, streaming music services and portable owned music have overtaken AM/FM radio in China. Though AM/FM radio is still the most-used in-car source in Western markets, satellite radio and streaming music are close competitors in the US.”

Continued Viita, “While radio still has unique advantages, the pandemic has only worked to increase adoption of other media sources. Some radio providers in the West are reporting that their ratings have nose-dived because many of those who listened on their commute have not rejoined from home.”

Added Kevin Nolan, VP, UX Innovation Practice, “The post-pandemic future of radio is uncertain. As Android Automotive and other systems embed media apps as standard, this will put additional pressure on radio. Provided that these systems allow quick and easy login, direct access to streamed content without having to deal with Bluetooth or device cables will result in further adoption and consumption. Broadcasters, product planners, and UI designers must immediately reconsider how, when, and why listeners consume entertainment and information, and across which platforms.”

Source: Strategy Analytics, Inc.


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Service Name: In-Vehicle UX
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Report contacts:
European Contact: Diane O’Neill, +44 (0)1908 423 669, [email protected]
US Contact: Derek Viita, +1 617 614 0772, [email protected]

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