Drivers Love MP3 Players

By Richard Menta 8/3/06

A recent Harris Interactive study has found that MP3 portables have made significant headway into the automobile. According to the study two-thirds of drivers that own an MP3 player use said portable unit regularly while traveling in their automobiles. That number jumps to 71% for those drivers between the ages of 25-44. So far, digital audio players are in the hands of 12% of those who drive, a number that will see a significant spike in the next few years as the MP3 players enter into the mainstream.

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The Harris study validates what we already assumed. People listen to music heavily in their cars as they travel back and forth to work, so it makes sense that the iPod and other digital music portables would find their way there. As I wrote several months back in an article titled The iPod Car future sound systems will appear that will allow you to slide in MP3 portables the same way that 1970's vehicles took the old 8-track tapes. The iPod nano was the key step to this as it offers a player with slim lines, but ample capacity.

Presently, all of us struggle with cassette adapters and FM transmitters to play our DAPs in the car. Both the auto and electronic manufacturers are looking at systems that will better integrate everything. They have plenty of incentive as 88% of drivers still don't have a DAP. That means there is huge growth ahead of this market.

Which is why we keep seeing dozens of new "iPod Killers" every few months despite the fact none have succeeded in challenging the iPod yet. Even a modest percentage of this audience can draw windfall profits in a few years.

Other MP3 stories:
More iPod Killers for Summer 2006
DRM is Like Paying for Ice
Review: Neuros MPEG4 Video Recorder 2

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