In 1930, The Galvin Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois invented the first successful car radio. They called it a Motorola (yes, that's where the name came from). Despite the expense (the first Motorolas cost as much as $7400 in today's dollars) and despite the safety concerns (56% of American's polled back then by the AAA deemed car radio radios to be a dangerous distraction) the mobile medium flourished. By 1946 over 9 million cars had a radio. With the advent of transistors in the early 60s which brought down the size and cost of in-car audio, soon, for every driver in Portland radio ruled the road.
AM/FM Radio Is Still Ready To Rumble
Over the years, there have been several challengers to radio's dashboard dominance. In 1955, for instance, Chrysler installed a small turntable in its luxury cars that played little, 7-inch records that contained about 40 minutes worth of music. That didn't work out so well. Then in 1965, Ford introduced the in-car 8-track player and then the in-dash cassette player in 1970. In 1985 Mercedes-Benz introduced the first in-car CD player. In 2002, Chrysler, Ford, and BMW began to offer satellite radio in their cars. Last year, more than 140 different car models began offering Pandora's streaming media service to drivers. But despite all of the would-be challengers to be "king of the road," plain old AM/FM radio remains the number one in-car medium for drivers in Maine and the rest of America.
A new study released by global research company Ipsos confirmed radio's secure place in the ears and hearts of drivers. The study concludes that 84% of drivers use traditional AM/FM radio while driving. The second choice is the car's CD play at 64%. As you can see from the Ipsos graph below, AM/FM radio out performs the next 6 choices combined.
Furthermore, if drivers were given the choice of audio options to include in their next vehicle, radio overwhelmed all other choices. CD players remained the second choice. All other options were in the rear view mirror:
Finally, the Ipsos study reveals that drivers are unlikely to change their in-car audio preferences anytime soon. When asked, these drivers want AM/FM radio to retain its place on the dashboard and not reduced to "app" status.
This study by Ipsos supports findings reported a few months ago in The Wall Street Journal. Learn more about these findings in the article: Radio Remains King Of The Road In Maine.
Of course this all good news for Maine small business owners who depend on Portland radio to market their goods and services. As other media begins to fragment and time-shift, live AM/FM radio continues to dominate consumers' media consumption.