A study commissioned by WorldDAB indicates that broadcast radios remain an important feature to car buyers.

The research was done by Edison Research for WorldDAB in partnership with Radioplayer and supported by the National Association of Broadcasters, Commercial Radio Australia and Xperi.

Edison did national online surveys in September in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

It found that broadcast radio “continues to dominate as the most preferred source of in-car entertainment across the globe.”

Graphic from WoldDAB showing results of the study

In the United States, among 1,060 recent and prospective car buyers surveyed, 89% said a broadcast radio tuner should be standard equipment in every car.

Perhaps surprisingly, this trend was consistent across age groups, Edison reported.

“The survey also reveals that the availability of radio has a major impact on consumers’ vehicle purchasing decisions,” the organizations wrote in a summary of the study. “Eighty-one percent of prospective car buyers in the U.S. say they would be less likely to buy or lease a vehicle that is not equipped with a built-in radio tuner.”

Other findings:

-Among “important” standard audio features in a new car, having a broadcast radio tuner ranked highest for prospective buyers, ahead of USB ports and the availability of Bluetooth and smartphone mirroring.

-More than half said they listen to broadcast radio in the car “frequently” versus 29% for online streaming music services and 19% for CDs.

-Ninety-one percent said it was “important” that radio should remain free. “The importance of free-to-air radio was highlighted by motorists’ concerns about data charges for streamed content: a clear majority (71%) of those who currently listening to audio via their mobile device say they are ‘concerned’ about how much data they are using.”

-Many U.S. car buyers expressed a desire to be able to search for stations using voice controls.

[Read the announcement and summary.]

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