Tradition is Valued by Auto Buyers

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Before the pandemic, traditional aspects of the auto purchase were changing. People were considering subscription auto plans versus ownership. Vehicle options were also shifting. COVID-19 changed all that.

Traditional vehicle ownership is still considered to be the most convenient, practical and flexible by consumers. When it comes to audio entertainment, traditional sources are important.

Broadcast radio matters to auto buyers. Whether they are recent or prospective auto buyers, 89% believe that traditional broadcast radio should be a standard audio option in vehicles. Listeners have an emotional connection with radio, and that’s why 91% of listeners state that radio keeps them company in their vehicle. If traditional broadcast radio wasn’t available in their vehicle, 89% of listeners agree that they “would really miss having radio in a vehicle,” according to a study released Edison Research.

Additional findings illustrate the role that traditional radio has in the consideration phase of auto-buying intenders as well as recent buyers. The study was conducted by Edison Research and commissioned by WorldDAB in partnership with Radioplayer. It was sponsored by the NAB, Commercial Radio Australia and Xperi. The study was based on interviews of over 1,000 U.S. adults who had recently purchased/leased a 2018 vehicle or newer or adults who plan to purchase/lease within the next year.

Broadcast AM/FM radio was ranked as the top in-car audio source requested – by both future and past auto buyers. Survey respondents also have a very personal connection with radio. Eighty-seven percent agree that they would miss their favorite radio station if they couldn’t receive it in their vehicle. Radio also serves a very important purpose – it delivers information. Respondents agreed that radio is an important source of information in times of crisis (87%), and that it keeps them up to date on what’s going on in the world (83%). It’s also reliable (85% agreed).

Previous posts have covered radio listeners’ auto attitudes and their vehicle purchase/lease plans. Combining these insights with the results from this recent study will prove helpful when trying to reach auto-buying intenders. Understanding what matters to them, providing the auto options they want and including that information in the messaging when reaching auto prospects will differentiate one auto advertiser from others. Despite all the technology and options available today to consumers, tradition matters. Radio matters.


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