The Italians and the Car: Never Without Radio

Rome – “If radio is free but really free, I like it more because it frees the mind.” A hymn to the radio by singer-songwriter Eugenio Vinardi in 1976 that underscores how much these means of communication are so loved that 93% of Italian users think the radio in the car is essential. This is still not enough because 87% would not buy or rent a car without a radio.

These are some of the data from the international study published by Edison Research that highlights how radio continues to remain the preferred source of in-car entertainment, not only in Italy but around the world. The survey, conducted by WorldDab in partnership with Radioplayer and supported by the National Association of Broadcasters, Commercial Radio Australia and Xperi, is of interest to those who have recently bought or leased a new car, or are planning to do so in the near future.

In addition to Italy, survey interviews were also conducted among car buyers in France, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The analysis, relating to the most common standard audio features in a new car, highlights that the presence of a radio receiver is first for potential car buyers (rated as “important” by 91%), followed by the availability of USB ports (87%) and the availability of Bluetooth connectivity (87%) and long before smartphone mirroring technology (Android Auto rated “important” at 75% and Apple CarPlay at 50%).

According to the study, the daily listening of radio broadcasts among motorists in Italy remains much higher than any other form of audio content. 76% of the sample respondents declared that they listen “often” to radio broadcasts in cars, compared to 23% who prefer online streaming music services and 15% to classic CDs. The majority of respondents (84%) agree with the statement “radio offers a better listening experience in the car than other types of audio sources”, while 60% said the main reason for listening is to “receive news and information”, followed by “listening to your favorite songs” (44%).

For the most popular value-added functions, “the ability to search for radio stations using voice commands” (63%), followed by “providing content information” (55%). Finally, the survey found that the car remains the most popular place to listen to radio (96%), followed by 77% at home and 36% at work. “This is an important piece of consumer research covering some of the largest auto markets, but the radio approach among car buyers in all of the countries surveyed is a strangely similar result,” said Tom Webster, senior vice president of Edison Research.

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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