Music streaming and podcast listening in cars doubles in five years – study

Increasing connectivity between cars and smartphones is changing what drivers listen to behind the wheel, according to a new study.

As wireless links between cars and mobile devices using streaming services have become more common, the number of drivers listening to downloaded or streamed audio has doubled in the last five years, the research by Nissan suggests.

The study claims one in six drivers now chooses to listen to a podcast, audiobook or downloaded or streamed music playlist while behind the wheel, compared with only one in 12 people five years ago.

Nissan says the rise of in-car systems such as Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto has fuelled links being made between smartphones and vehicles.

The study says that physical formats are in steep decline as a result of this change, with only 11% of drivers still listening to hard formats of audio such as CDs, compared with more than a quarter (27%) five years ago.


However, less than half of those asked said they knew how to work all of their in-car entertainment.

Nissan Europe product planning vice president Ponz Pandikuthira said: “In-car connectivity is one of the major transformational technologies of the automotive industry, and a pillar of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision for the future of motoring.

“Today, largely through smartphone connectivity, we have an infinite library of content at our fingertips. It’s perhaps no surprise that driver preferences are shifting towards on-demand and streamed services, rather than scheduled broadcasts or offline audio formats such as CD.

“Within the next decade, the integrated systems in our vehicles will be processing huge amounts of data.

“We’ll be streaming audio, navigational and visual information, entirely through cellular transmissions, with 4G and 5G connection speeds required to manage this data demand.

“As a result, by 2030, it’s entirely feasible that the car aerial – in the form we know it today – may be another feature consigned to the automotive history books.”