Company News · September 15, 2011

The Road Ahead: Media And Entertainment In The Car

By Edison Research

In the face of a rapidly changing in-car landscape, broadcast radio dominates the choices for information and entertainment in the car, according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB), Edison Research, and Scarborough Research titled The Road Ahead: Media and Entertainment in the Car. At the same time, there is significant interest in the many new digital entertainment and information options for driving that are being developed every day. The Road Ahead was debuted this morning at The Radio Show, hosted by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau in Chicago.

The Road Ahead, conducted in July 2011, looks at consumer usage of sixteen different in-car media and entertainment choices. The study also weighs consumer interest in newly introduced “telematics” features. Telematics technology enables a variety of applications that share data between the vehicle and information and entertainment networks.

The Road Ahead updates a similar study conducted in 2003, to provide a unique look at the changes and challenges in the in-car landscape over the past eight years, combined with a peek into the future of this crucial media space.

Key findings of The Road Ahead: Media and Entertainment in the Car:

  • AM/FM radio continues to be the top choice for in-car media and entertainment, with 84 percent of all drivers or passengers reporting use of AM/FM radio in-car — compared to the next highest device, the CD player, at 68 percent.
  • When share of time spent while driving is measured, AM/FM radio dominates with nearly two-thirds of all ‘in-car time’ (64 percent). The CD player is in second place at 21 percent; all other devices combined make up 15 percent.
  • While various digital options such as satellite radio and connecting one’s iPod to the car system remain rather small, they are growing and very well-loved by those who use them.
  • In-car AM/FM radio usage is strongest in the key buying demos it has long targeted, reaching nearly 90 percent of adults age 25 to 54.
  • One in four (24 percent) persons age 18 and older have used their iPod/MP3 player to listen to audio in their car; more than half (55 percent) of 18-24s have done so.
  • Six percent of persons age 18 and older and one in five persons aged 18 to 24 (19 percent) have listened to Pandora on their cell phone in the car.
  • There is a high level of interest in newly developed vehicle telematics. More than 60 percent say they are interested in accident response features, stolen vehicle recovery systems, parked vehicle tampering alerts, and remote car unlocking capability.
  • There is also significant consumer interest in several in-car media applications: 41 percent are interested in pause, rewind and replay functionality for radio in-car and 40 percent are interested in built-in wireless internet for the car.

Watch the presentation slides:

Video Interviews

In addition to conducting a significant national quantitative study, our research team supplemented this work with a series of interviews and observational research with in-car media consumers. Video highlights of these interviews are presented below:

On Smartphones:

On Satellite Radio:

On Telematics:

On The Internet-Enabled Car:

On The Future of Radio:

How the study was conducted

A total of 1,505 persons ages 18+ were interviewed in July 2011 to investigate Americans’ use of in-car media and information. The telephone interviews were conducted among previous Scarborough Research respondents age 18 and older chosen at random from a national sample.

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to radio stations, television stations, newspapers, cable networks, record labels, Internet companies and other media organizations. Edison Research is also the sole provider of election exit poll data for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, Clear Channel, Citadel, CBS Radio, Bonneville and Westwood One; and also conducts strategic and opinion research for a broad array of companies including Time Warner, Google, Yahoo!, Sony Music, the Voice of America, See Saw Networks and Zenithmedia. Edison Research has a seventeen year history of thought-leadership in media research, and has provided services to successful media properties in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.

About Arbitron
Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving the media–radio, television, cable and out-of-home; the mobile industry as well as advertising agencies and advertisers around the world. Arbitron’s businesses include: measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of U.S. consumers; providing mobile audience measurement and analytics in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, and developing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The Company has developed the Portable People Meter ™ (PPMTM) and the PPM 360™, new technologies for media and marketing research.

About Scarborough Research
Scarborough Research measures American life. Our consumer insights reflect shopping patterns, media usage across platforms, and lifestyle trends for adults. Media professionals and marketers use Scarborough Research insights to make smarter marketing/business decisions on things like ad placement, multicultural targeting, and sponsorship opportunities. The company’s core syndicated consumer insight studies in 77 Top Tier Markets, its Multi-Market Study and its national USA+ Study are Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited. Other products and services include Scarborough Mid Tier Local Market Studies, Hispanic Studies a! nd Custom Research Solutions. Scarborough Research measures 2,000 consumer categories and serves a broad client base that includes marketers, advertising agencies, print and electronic media (broadcast and cable television, radio stations), sports teams and leagues and out-of-home media companies. Surveying more than 210,000 adults annually, Scarborough is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. and The Nielsen Company.

Portable People Meter™, PPM™ and PPM 360™ are marks of Arbitron Inc.

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