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Drivers Want More From Their Dashboards Says Survey As Podcasts Make In-Roads In The Car.

A quarter of time spent listening to audio in the car goes to on-demand content like podcasts according to Edison Research, and that number would potentially climb higher if automakers give consumers what they want. The consumer electronics maker DTS has released a new report that shows Americans want more from their dashboard, including personalized and discoverable content.

The report finds that for the majority (65%) – and for nearly 80% of those age 44 and under – in-vehicle entertainment is important. Two-thirds of those 25 to 44 say they want that entertainment to be personalized, and to have the highest quality audio with easily discoverable content constantly updated to meet digital advances and evolving needs. The findings are based on the results of a survey conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by DTS.

Of those who say that in-vehicle entertainment is important, having a broad range of content, such as local radio, streaming, podcasts, and audio books, is key, with 81% saying that this is important or extremely important. An equal number (80%) say that accessing relevant, easily “discoverable” content that is recommended in the dashboard – without having to look for it – is important or extremely important. And nearly as many, 75%, indicated that content being personalized – suggested content that recognizes individual preferences or past choices – is important or extremely important.

In-dashboard video, a capability that DTS is marketing to automakers, is particularly important among younger demographics: over two-thirds of respondents aged 17-44 are interested in TV and on-demand streaming in the car with the same percentage saying that video capability would make them more likely to purchase a particular vehicle.

But while video capabilities in the dash would make a car more appealing, the survey also finds that audio remains the essential anchor for the dashboard, especially among younger demos who will drive what the next generation of in-vehicle entertainment will look like.

“The role of the personal vehicle continues to evolve into much more than just a way to get from point A to point B and, with that, consumers’ in-cabin entertainment needs are becoming more complex – from deeply integrated content to easily discoverable, high-quality video,” said Jeff Jury, Senior VP/GM, Connected Car at Xperi. “As consumers, especially Gen Z and Millennials, look for an experience that makes the vehicle cabin a customizable, content-rich and comfortable third space, today’s technology offers automakers a unique opportunity to adopt progressive in-cabin platforms that can adapt rapidly to meet the evolving needs and preferences of their customers.” 

Among some of the other takeaways from the survey: 

  • 70% of respondents between 25 and 34, and over 50% overall, view their vehicle as a third space. 

  • 71% of those 25 to 34 (and 56% overall) say they want their built-in vehicle entertainment experience to be more than a mirror of their smart phone. 

  • The majority (65%) of respondents – and nearly 80% of those 44 and under – say in-vehicle entertainment is important to them. 

  • 67% of those between the ages of 17 and 44 are interested in having video, including TV and on-demand streaming available as part of their vehicle dashboard/screen entertainment choices. 

The survey was fielded between September 29, 2023 and October 3, 2023. Download the report HERE

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