The first car radios were built by the Galvin Manufacturing Company of Chicago. They named their invention, and eventually their company, Motorola.
Today, more than 2.9 million car radios fill ears of area drivers with music, news, sports, and information. As a result, local radio reaches more consumers than all other media.
In a typical pre-COVID-19 week, according to Nielsen, 89% of adult consumers would tune-in to a Detroit radio station. This is significantly more than were reached by local TV, cable, social media, newspaper, or streaming media sites Pandora and Spotify.
On March 23, however, the Governor of Michigan shut down the state to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Overnight, traffic on Metro Detroit area roads plummeted to 50% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the Apple Mobility index.
Although the shutdown kept cars off the road for several weeks, Nielsen reports that radio listening did not go away. It just shifted indoors. As mobility has begun to exceed pre-pandemic levels, though, out-of-home listening is surging back to typical levels.
In 1930, Motorolas were the only option for in-car entertainment. Today, though, the dashboards of Southeast Michigan drivers are dense with choices. Local radio, according to a 2020 study by Edison Research, remains, by far, the most used of these options.
According to an article published by WARC, a company that collaborates with more than 50 respected marketing organizations, including the Advertising Research Foundation and the Association of National Advertisers, reaching consumers in car has a powerful effect on buying behavior.
"Radio ads heard in the car on the way to the store have a significant effect on purchasing intentions according to new research on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) advertising," says WARC.
The study, conducted by Touchpoint indicate that these radio commercials heard in the car increased purchased intent among loyal customers by 38%.
Purchase intent among non-loyal brand-customers rose 39% among those exposed to in-car radio commercials.
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