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Mobile Audio: What Consumers Want

ALPHARETTA, GA. – Consumers
are more interested in swapping
out their existing car stereo for
one that controls a connected iPod
or iPhone than they are in buying
satellite radio or HD Radio for their
vehicle, a MarketSource survey of
consumers found.

They’re also more interested in
buying a car stereo head unit that
connects to any cellular smartphone
to stream Internet radio stations
and music services.

Those are some of the findings
from a nationwide on-line consumer
survey conducted exclusively for
TWICE by MarketSource, a provider
of integrated sales and market
services and market research.
The company compiled responses
from adults ages 18 and up in 501
households. The sample size yielded
a 95 percent confidence level,
meaning that if the same survey
were conducted 100 times across
different sets of 501 respondents,
the results would be the same 95
percent of the time. The margin of
error is 5 percentage points.

Of the adult respondents, 49 percent were female
and 18 percent were ages 18-30.

Among the key findings, MarketSource found that
51 percent of adults are very or somewhat interested
in replacing their car stereo in the next year with one
that connects directly to an iPod/iPhone’s multipin connector
to charge the Apple devices, select the devices’
songs from the head unit, and view song information on
the head unit’s display.

A total of 64 percent also said they would be very or
somewhat interested in buying an adapter in the next
year to add the same features to their existing car stereo
head unit.

Meanwhile, more people are listening to an iPod,
iPhone or other MP3 player through their car stereo
system than last year. A total of 52 percent of respondents
said they listen to music from an iPod, iPhone or other MP3 players through their car stereo system, up
from 36 percent in a year-ago survey. The survey did not
ask whether they plug the mobile device’s headphone
output into a head unit’s 3.5mm auxiliary input, used
an FM adapter of one kind or another, or use an iPod/
iPhone-controlling head unit.

Internet radio:

Interest is also high listening to Internet
radio and music services through car stereo systems.
A total of 57 percent of respondents said they would be
very or somewhat interested in listening to Internet radio
and music services through their car stereo system. A
total of 47 percent of all respondents would also be interested
in replacing their car stereo system with one that
would enable them to do so. The respondents weren’t
asked whether they would be interested in a car stereo
that would control the selection of Internet radio streams.

Satellite radio:

Only 16 percent of people who don’t
own satellite radio are very or somewhat interested in
getting car satellite radio in the next year, down from
last year’s 24 percent. Part of the drop, however, could
be attributed to satellite-radio’s increased penetration
rates in vehicles.

The survey found that satellite-radio ownership in the
car rose to 30 percent from the year-ago 19 percent. Two
percent didn’t know if they have car satellite radio or not.

Among the 30 percent of polled consumers who
have satellite radio in their car, 61 percent have an active
subscription; the rest aren’t listening to satelliteradio

Among consumers with car satellite radio, Market-
Source also found that 70 percent said their satellite
radio is part of the factory-installed sound system. Only
30 percent purchased satellite radio at retail.

HD Radio:

Among those who don’t own an HD
radio, interest is rising, with 30 percent
of non-owners saying they are very or somewhat interested
in purchasing the technology for their car in
the next year, up from last year’s 28 percent. For the
survey, consumers were informed that HD Radio provides
digital-quality music and additional stations not
available through analog AM/FM car radios.

The percentage of respondents owning car HD Radio
was not available.