A greater percentage of Millennials value radio in their automobile dashboards compared to their generational counterparts, according to a new Caravan survey from Engine Insights. The study, commissioned by HD Radio developer Xperi, also finds Millennials more likely to feel their car is more important to them today than prior to the pandemic.
“We were particularly struck that Millennials value radio in the dashboard so highly, with 78 percent saying it is indispensable,” said Engine Insights manager Eric Corliss. “Also, that these demos, along with Gen Z, are the most likely to place greater importance on dashboard entertainment/information today, versus pre-COVID.”
A significantly higher percent of Gen Z (91%) and Millennial (89%) car owners feel it is important for their in-vehicle dashboard entertainment to be personalized to their particular tastes and interests, compared to Gen X (81%) or Baby Boomers (70%). Top reasons for the importance of personalization include not having to fiddle with controls while driving, too much content clutter and being used to having relevant content pushed to them on other digital platforms.
In addition, Gen Z (69%) and Millennials (68%) are most likely to be listening to different content in their vehicle vs. before COVID, and twice as likely as Baby Boomers (33%) to do so. Gen Z (94%) and Millennials (91%) placed greater importance on having content “discovered” for them and having rich visual/textual information about the artist and song they are listening to than Gen X and Boomers.
Taking the full sample into account, there are other notable trends from this survey. Just over nine in ten vehicle owners (91%) believe it is important to have radio in their dashboard, and more than half like having radio as the anchor for their media diet. Seventy-nine percent feel it is very important that listening choices in their vehicle are free (radio/podcasts/etc.) as opposed to subscription based. And 58% find the clutter of content choices too difficult to sift through, so they mainly listen to their pre-programmed radio stations.
“Given how highly Millennials value today’s radio, its relevance to the vehicle dashboard is confirmed for decades to come,” Xperi Connected Car General Manager Jeff Jury says. “This study also reinforces that car owners are looking for a dashboard that offers infotainment content that is personalized, discoverable, and textually and visually-rich.”