Radio still the most popular thing on car radios

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Believe it or not, the most popular form of car audio is still the radio. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Believe it or not, the most popular form of car audio is still the radio. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Believe it or not, with so many alternatives to those idiotic radio stations available these days, most people still prefer the radio. Despite satellite radio and streaming radio becoming ever more popular, that old AM/FM habit is apparently a hard one to lose.

Invisible airwaves still crackle with life as radio soldiers on

You would think radio was dying. For one, the advent of the MP3 player meant that people could access any music they wanted while driving – to distraction in many cases, you idiots – and then satellite and streaming radio services made it easier to access stations with much more exact programming, so you’d get more of what you want in your music.

But it turns out that the bearers of that gift beyond price that’s almost free have been doing just fine. Ipsos, a marketing firm that has nothing to do with any entity called Lorem, conducted two studies so far this year, according to AutoBlog, looking into the listening habits of Americans in their cars. What they found was that 84 percent of respondents still listened to the radio.

Furthermore, 62 percent listened to the radio daily and 67 percent used it as their primary form of audio entertainment in the car.

All this machinery making modern music

We promise, no further references to Rush and/or “Spirit of Radio.” We acknowledge that we have been warned about this. (Unless you want to feel the caress of steel. ed.)

In the Ipsos surveys, 91 percent of respondents, according to Forbes, reported preferring radio-like audio in their cars, and 9 percent preferred apps. Besides the standard FM/AM, Sirius, Pandora and Spotify were the preferred audio delivery system of 22, 18 and 7 percent, respectively, of survey respondents.

Only 29 percent of those surveyed paid for a subscription to streaming services, and 29 percent said they just weren’t willing to pay for them.

However, it’s not as if people didn’t deviate from broadcasted audio. The survey found 64 percent of respondents still used CDs and had an average 10.5 CDs in their car.

That half-CD must be a trick to listen to.

Not alone either

American radio devotees aren’t alone in their reliance on the oldest form of mass entertainment. Surveys by Australia’s radio companies, according to Radio.com.au found 21 million Aussies were listening to the radio every week, or 78 percent of the population. (Granted, they would probably say that.) Morning radio or “breakfast radio” captured the attention of 77 percent of the Australian public; 56 percent of the population – or 13 million people – tuned into breakfast radio at least once a week.

However, a 2014 study by Edison Research from the land Down Under found the youth were drifting away from radio, given that 13 to 17-year olds listened to 64 minutes of streaming audio per day, compared to 53 minutes of radio.

Will that change, though, once they get behind the wheel? Most people that are driving grew up in an era where radio was the predominant thing on in the car and more people are growing up listening to Pandora, Spotify and YouTube playlists. Perhaps radio’s finest hour hasn’t come yet, but it well may.

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