Radio Competition Heating up from Spotify, Pandora & Streaming

Strategy Analytics publishes its 2018 In-Car Audio Report, reviewing the competitive landscape of the in-vehicle audio space.

The traditional distinction between AM and FM is becoming increasingly irrelevant, as listeners are moving in significant numbers to online streaming platforms. The car remains the most ubiquitous placement and use of traditional terrestrial radio, and traditional broadcasters last, best hope at countering the growing competition from streaming services.

The Strategy Analytics Automotive Infotainment & Telematics service report, “In-Car Audio: Broadcasters Face Growing Streaming Threat,” takes a close look at innovation in the in-car audio space, from processors, to streaming service providers, to technological innovation in terrestrial radio, and how the growing fleet of connected cars will impact the growth prospects for streaming audio.

With more than a decade under their belts, the major music streaming service providers are moving beyond mobile apps to the next mobile platform ripe for disruption; the car. With an increasing number of new cars featuring tethered support for streaming apps such as Spotify, Pandora and Pocket Casts, and now premium automotive brands offering embedded connectivity, established radio broadcasters are now facing competition from streaming services in the hotly contested in- vehicle experience. Digital radio is countering with enhanced metadata and other features to compete with streaming and satellite services, while podcasts have become an exciting new opportunity for advertisers and content producers.

“With streaming audio going on more than a decade, streaming service providers are moving beyond mobile apps and setting their sights on the next battlefield for consumers’ entertainment and news platforms, the car,” said Richard Robinson. Director of the Global Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics.

“Traditional broadcasters have long cited their dominance in the car, but they can no longer take that position for granted,” Edward Sanchez, Senior Analyst for Strategy Analytics Infotainment and Telematics Service, said. “Broadcast radio had the advantage of being ‘automatically on’ as soon as people started their car, but as brought-in device connectivity becomes more and more seamless, and as OEMs are offering embedded connectivity and support for streaming services, the established radio providers will have to continue to innovate and enhance their value proposition in the mind of consumers to remain competitive.”