Will CD players extinction in cars, make Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Thrive?

6000cdplayerCD Players are losing popularity in car infotainment systems. There is no clear replacement, yet. However, interest in smartphone connected systems such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is growing.

Strategy Analytics looked into consumer interest in, usage of, and satisfaction with in-car infotainment features. While the AM/FM radio remains the top source for infotainment in the car, daily use continues to steadily decline. The percentage of consumers who feel that an in-vehicle CD player is a “must-have” feature continues to fall to historic lows. However, no new infotainment source has clearly risen to take their place.

According to the report (“Usage of In-Car CD Players Continues to Drop, but What Will Replace Them?”), consumer appetite for in-car internet radio and connections for portable music players have both levelled off after strong growth through 2015 in the US, Europe, and China. Consumers’ interest in digital radio in Europe and satellite radio in the US has also either remained steady or declined slightly.

Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author, commented that although usage of the in-car AM/FM radio has declined, it “remains tops for usage and interest, primarily driven by the desire for up-to-date traffic information without the data connection that most popular traffic apps require.”

Continued Viita, “The only source in the US and Europe that continues to show steady (though slow) growth in interest is an in-vehicle connection to apps. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Baidu CarLife (which all can provide easy access to a user’s preferred apps) are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this trend.”

Chris Schreiner, Director of IVX, added, “Some of these trends indicate that the value added (by the infotainment feature) is not strong enough to warrant wide adoption or re-subscription. However, many of these trends are a strong indicators that current in-vehicle implementations are not usable or compelling enough to adopt for regular daily use.”

Hyundai stopped selling autos equipped with CD Players starting with the 2016 model year, opting instead for Android Auto and CarPlay as well as digital audio.

Jacobs Media Strategies TechSurvey12 reported that 51% of those surveyed said that a CD player is important to car buyers. 64% connect their phone to the car radio. 91% of the media consumed is radio. 9 out of 10 listen to AM FM radio every day in the car well 3% listen to music from their phone and 3% use Pandora.

Nielsen reported that Streaming has changed the entire audio landscape. Music is no longer exclusively packaged in pre-made formats like a CD or radio playlist. On-demand streaming is personalized, portable and everywhere. And the sheer volume of streaming taking place is evidence that consumers can’t get enough.