Radio remains essential in-car, new research for WorldDAB confirms.

Major new WorldDAB “Dashboard Dialogue” study from Edison Research finds:
• Radio is the most listened-to audio platform in the car
• Drivers say radio is an integral part of the in-car experience
• Car buyers expect broadcast radio to be standard in their next new car.

Radio remains an essential part of the in-car experience, and is the most listened-to audio platform in the car, important new research released on Thursday 15 June has confirmed.

The “Dashboard Dialogue” study 2023 is a major survey of recent and prospective car buyers conducted by Edison Research for WorldDAB – the global industry forum for DAB digital radio. It provides a more in-depth review of DAB radio’s usability in the car - with videos from consumers detailing their likes and dislikes, plus what they love about radio in the car today. The new research was conducted across France, Germany and the UK, through in-car interviews with radio listeners, and over 2,400 online interviews.

Reinforcing the need for broadcast radio to remain prominent in the dashboard, the study found that 91% of recent and prospective car buyers said it was important that their recent or next vehicle has DAB/DAB+ or FM radio.

82% of prospective car buyers, and 79% of recent car buyers would have been “much less” or “somewhat less” likely to have purchased their recent vehicle if it did not have a radio. Meanwhile 86% of recent/prospective car buyers “would really miss having radio in a vehicle if it were no longer available”. One driver said: “If there was no radio, that would be awful, I’d prefer to go without the air-conditioning.”

Radio remains the most listened-to audio platform in the car, with 86% of recent or prospective car buyers listening to DAB/DAB+ or FM radio in a vehicle in the last week. In the in-car interviews, drivers said they valued the radio for its role in providing news updates, traffic alerts, and weather forecasts. “I can’t look at my phone when driving to read the news, so I rely on the car radio for the traffic in my area,” said one listener. Some also said the radio offers companionship during their drives, with the live nature of broadcasts providing a sense of connection and engagement.

Radio’s popularity endures, with 87% of recent or prospective car buyers agreeing radio is consistently reliable, and 75% agreeing it provides a better listening experience in the car than other types of audio sources. Clearer sound was often mentioned by listeners as a benefit of DAB+, with many saying they appreciate the greater variety of radio stations available through DAB+. “I think it’s brilliant - it makes me want to listen to the radio more”, one driver said, with another adding: “I’ve discovered some new stationsand I now have this great display.”

The results build on previous research conducted in 2021, when WorldDAB’s Car Buyers Survey found 90% of car buyers said broadcast radio should be standard in every vehicle, and over 80% of consumers would be less likely to buy or lease cars without a built-in radio tuner.

Megan Lazovick, Vice President, Edison Research

The new study was unveiled at WorldDAB Automotive 2023 in Paris, by Megan Lazovick, Vice President of Edison Research. The annual industry event brings together broadcasters and automotive manufacturers from around the globe.

Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB

WorldDAB President Patrick Hannon said: "The findings of this research confirm the importance of keeping broadcast radio prominent in the car. It's once again clearly demonstrated in this study that listeners love radio, and their audio experience significantly influences overall car satisfaction. With DAB+ now standard in new cars across Europe, we're committed to working together with the automotive sector to ensure the best possible in-car experience for radio listeners now and in the future."


Edison Research was commissioned by WorldDAB to conduct a two-part research study in France, Germany and the UK. The study, which included both qualitative and quantitative research, divided its samples evenly across the three countries. In-depth interviews were conducted with 36 radio listeners who had either purchased or leased a new vehicle within the past three years. Half of the participants were interviewed in their own vehicle, and half were interviewed in an unfamiliar vehicle similar to the class of vehicle they owned. Edison also conducted a survey of 2,422 adults. The survey included those who had either purchased or leased a new vehicle within the past three years, or who planned to purchase or lease in the next 12 months. Interviews were conducted between 10 May and 17 May 2023, and data was weighted to match the target population in each country by age, gender, and region.

• WorldDAB Automotive 2023 took place on Thursday 15 June 2023, in-person and online at Radio France, Maison de la Radio, Paris.

• Sponsors of WorldDAB Automotive 2023 were: DTS, a part of XPERI; Paneda; Radioplayer; AVT; tdf.


Notes: Press Release - WorldDAB - 15 June 2023