OLD NEW WAVE
Just before going to print with this issue, I was extremely surprised by a press release with claims that profoundly contradicted my perception of the state of affairs in in-car entertainment and, more specifically, music consumption.
With the IoT (Internet of Things) penetrating just about every technical and consumer aspect of our lives, it was surprising to find that, according to a GfK Australian Share of Audio study, the good ole’ radio is still, by a very large margin, the preferred entertainment choice in the car. Yes, the claim is that 80 percent of our music listening in the car is to broadcast radio (presumably including DAB+) while way down in use at 12 percent is our own collection of rips, CDs, downloads, etc.
Despite the streaming capabilities of most head units – whether in-built or via mating to your smart device – online streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify and others accounts for only a meagre three percent of in-car use.
The study examined entertainment habits including where and how Australians consume all forms of audio, taking into account in-car radio, streaming, online music video and podcast spaces. What to make of this and what does it mean? Well, it’s hard to know what to make of this other than to offer a view that despite technology advancements and new avenues for music delivery we tend to hang on to familiar things and conservatively move forward. That is in stark contrast to what is normally Australians’ early adoption of all things new tech when it comes to hardware.
Perhaps once mobile plans become more data-generous and cost effective the pendulum will swing back to online services and this is where traditional radio broadcasters will need to have their fingers on the pulse.
But make no mistake, things will most surely change and, move forward, we indeed will.