The dashboard is the last place for radio dominance, but connected phones are nibbling at the edges…
By Paul Marszalek
Another nugget from Edison Research’s Share of Ear study: Mobile phones continue their slow but steady creep into our in-car listening habits.
In case you missed it, last year Edison noted that mobile phone listening had surpassed AM/FM radio listening for the first time. Keep in mind, that was not listening to AM/FM radio via a phone, it was any listening – podcasts, Spotify, and radio streams.
But radio’s last line of defense, the car dashboard, continued to be resilient. And while in-car AM/FM listening continues to win by more than a 2 to 1 margin, mobile phone listening continues to creep forward. Yes, those CarPlay, bluetooth, and even aux inputs are in use.
Mobile phones now account for 23% of all in car listening. Radio has held firm over the past three years at about 58%, but it is down considerably from the 71% posted in 2015.
Thankfully, mobile appears to be pulling from “other audio sources,” which probably includes the increasingly rare CD player.
As mobile phones eclipse AM/FM radios, it’s a reminder to stations that their mobile streams need to be easily accessible and top of mind. I cannot recall the last time I heard a station promote its mobile stream. Smart speaker, yes. Mobile stream, rare.
Make sure your mobile app is delivering on the top three things audiences want: 1) a quality stream, 2) playlist info, and 3) upcoming events. You don’t have to do much more than that except talk it up on the air.