There are about 1,700,000 registered passenger vehicles in the Charlotte area. Some are cars. Some are trucks. Some are Hondas. Some are Fords. Some are Teslas. Some have four doors. Some have two. Some go fast. Some go slow. Some guzzle gas. Some sip. Some are red. Some are blue.
The one thing that almost every car and truck in the Charlotte area have in common, though, is the AM/FM radio smack-dab in the middle of the dashboard.
The first car radio went on sale in 1930. It was an invention of the Galvin Manufacturing Company. The company named the radio 'Motorola,' and its cost was $130, around $2000 in today's dollars. By 1935, more than three million car radios had been installed.
Today, AM/FM radio is part of every car and truck on Charlotte-area roads. In addition to the radio, many of these vehicles also provide drivers with other audio options, including a CD player, Sirius/XM, Pandora, Spotify, podcasts, and easy access to personal MP3 collections.
It is fair, then, for small business owners who depend on Charlotte radio to advertise their goods and services to ask: with all the audio options on today's dashboards, is anyone listening to local AM/FM radio in the car anymore?
Every week, according to Nielsen, 1.9 million adults listen to Charlotte radio stations. This is more consumers than are reached by social media local TV, local cable, local newspapers, streaming audio, and streaming video.
Nearly 67% of the listening to Charlotte radio, says Nielsen, occurs away-from-home, which predominantly means while in the car.
Despite all the ad-supported audio options available while in the car, well over 80% of the listening time is spent with AM/FM radio, regardless of the driver's age.
For almost a century, in-car listening has been essential to the success of local advertising campaigns placed on local radio. Despite the abundance of audio options now available to most drivers, Charlotte radio still dominates the dashboard.
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