VoodooVision: Broadcast Radio Most Competitive in Vehicles

Music being turned on, in the car.

The second of three webinars showing off the results of the new VoodooVision nationwide consumer study is scheduled for Monday, March 6 at Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific. This study of over 5,300 respondents ages of 14 and 54 is designed to guide marketers through the myriad options available in the digital media and audio entertainment space. The presentation is free to those who reserve a spot at nuvoodoo.com/webinars.

VoodooVision findings reveal that broadcast radio remains competitive with podcasts and DSPs (Digital Streaming Providers, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others) when consumers are in vehicles or public transit during the early morning and late afternoon commutes, and on weekends, despite the steady increase of Internet-connected infotainment systems in vehicles.

When asked to select the audio entertainment source they use most in lifestyle situations throughout the day and week, broadcast FM/AM radio remains the top audio entertainment preference for morning commuters at 19% of the sample, followed closely by podcasts. The competition is closer during the late afternoon commute, where podcasts, DSPs, and radio are all tightly bunched. And broadcast radio remains competitive as an audio entertainment favorite among listeners on the go during the weekend.

The rise of podcasts as a drive-time in-vehicle entertainment choice serves as a timely reminder for radio to play offense in these critical dayparts. Here is yet another datapoint that reinforces our long-understood need to present strong, impactful entertainment options that go beyond just music to remain competitive in attracting the captive audience stuck in traffic or on public transportation during a long commute.

NuVoodoo marketing guru PJ Kling, notes, “In radio, we’ve grown accustomed to thinking of weekends as a throw-away. And while average-quarter-hour ratings may not rise to the same levels of weekday drive times, weekends are an important opportunity for stations to put their best foot forward with strong programming and promotion. FM/AM’s in-vehicle audience remains competitive with podcasts and digital streaming as a source of audio entertainment. It’s a good opportunity to leverage competitive share from in-format competitors. It’s the audience that talent should envision when striving for relevancy when executing talk breaks.”

Technology has a huge impact here. The newest “connected” audio systems show up in the vehicles of only 14% of our sample. These new systems make it easier to listen to DSPs and podcasts – and can add complications for those who want use broadcast radio.

For now, about a quarter of the fleet of vehicles within our sample are fitted with what we would describe as a “traditional” vehicle radio (think knobs for volume and “tuning” and a display in the middle with presets for station choices) and nearly half carry one of the systems where smartphones can be connected with a cord or Bluetooth. In either of these latter two types, broadcast radio often remains the most convenient choice for listening.

In fact, among consumers driving vehicles with either a traditional system or even one of the systems where smartphones could be connected with a cord or Bluetooth, overall daily broadcast radio TSL jumps to over 45 minutes a day. While among the newest connected vehicles, broadcast radio TSL is punished and DSP TSL jumps to well over an hour a day.

After the webinar this Monday (March 6), there’ll be one more live session on Tuesday, March 21 at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific. Attending one of the remaining live webinars allows you to ask questions about the data we’re showing. A recorded version of the presentation will be provided to all who register. Register at nuvoodoo.com/webinars.