OLD NEW WAVE

InCar Entertainment  - - NEWS - Ed Kramer Edi­tor

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.

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