Harris Interactive Reports: Two-Thirds of Adult Automobile Owners Who Own MP3/iPod Players Use the Device in Their Vehicle

Over half of them look forward to audio system interface technology

Aug 02, 2006, 01:00 ET from Harris Interactive

    DETROIT and ROCHESTER, N.Y., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the
 most recent wave of the Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST(SM) study, 65
 percent of adult vehicle owners who indicate that they own an MP3/iPod
 player state that they use some type of adapter to use their player while
 driving their vehicle. The rate of vehicle integration of this technology
 is highest for 25 to 44 year olds (72%).
     Among all adult automobile owners, ownership of MP3/iPod players is
 about one in 10 (12%) and use in their vehicles varies considerably by age.
 MP3/iPod ownership is substantially higher (31%) among 18 to 24 years olds,
 and not surprisingly, ownership rates decrease consistently among older
 respondents, as low as five percent among those aged 55 and over.
     These are some of the results from the latest wave of the Harris
 Interactive AutoTECHCAST, a bi-annual survey of adult vehicle owners in the
 United States. AutoTECHCAST provides in-depth U.S. consumer trends on 60
 advanced automotive technologies, and this most recent wave includes a
 detailed section on MP3/iPod audio system interfaces. This wave of the
 study was conducted online between May 15 and June 2, 2006 among 12,857
 U.S. adults ages 18 and over who own or lease a vehicle, have a valid
 driver's license, have at least one household vehicle and own a listed U.S.
 model dated 2001 or newer.
     "Vehicle owners 25 to 44 years of age are most likely to use their MP3
 or iPod player in their vehicle," states Bryan Krulikowski, Senior Director
 of the Harris Interactive Automotive & Transportation (ATR) Research
 Practice. "This means that vehicle manufacturers need to pay specific
 attention to the types of vehicles these buyers are interested in and equip
 the audio systems accordingly. While new technologies and features
 typically trickle-down from luxury vehicles to mass-market vehicles, MP3
 integration may become a 'trickle-up' feature given its young user base."
     The future of MP3/iPod vehicle integration
     Looking forward, over half (52%) of consumers who own or use an
 MP3/iPod player in their vehicle, and 14 percent of all adult vehicle
 owners, indicate that they are extremely or very likely to consider
 purchasing MP3/iPod Audio System Interface technology for their next
 vehicle. However, the technologies most readily available today for
 integrating MP3 players into the vehicle -- such as FM-Modulators and
 Cassette Adapters -- are the least preferred by these respondents. Instead,
 those interested in considering this technology for their next vehicle
 prefer to integrate their MP3/iPod player through an auxiliary jack located
 on the stereo head unit (39%) or through either Bluetooth (23%) or
 Firewire/USB connections (19%).
     "The evolution of portable music devices-as well as car audio
 systems-has resulted in an expectation for excellent sound reproduction
 that consumers want replicated in their vehicle," states Krulikowski.
 "Unfortunately, today's integration techniques may be a step behind what
 consumers truly desire as they do not always provide the quality of sound
 or convenience desired by consumers."
     The trade-off of full control versus convenience
     Overall, among those who say they are likely to consider an MP3/iPod
 Audio System Interface, only a small difference exists between those
 indicating a preference to manage the audio directly through the player so
 that no functionality is lost (44%) or those who are willing to give up
 some functionality in order to gain the convenience of managing the audio
 directly through the car stereo head unit (39%). However, among those who
 currently own an MP3/iPod player, maintaining full functionality of the
 unit is important, as 56 percent of these respondents indicate a preference
 to manage the audio directly through the player.
     "The level of control that a driver has over the portable audio device
 is more than a convenience versus functionality issue," states Krulikowski.
 "Vehicle manufacturers need to consider the impact that player control has
 on driver distractions and balance this safety aspect with the ability to
 adequately use the device in the vehicle."
     Harris Interactive conducted this AutoTECHCAST survey online in the
 United States between May 15 and June 2, 2006 among a total of 12,857
 adults aged 18 and over. Qualified respondents had to own or lease a
 vehicle, have a valid driver's license, have at least one household vehicle
 and own a listed U.S. model dated 2001 or newer. Figures for age, gender,
 race/ethnicity, education, income and region were weighted where necessary
 to align with population proportions. Propensity score weighting was also
 applied to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
     All surveys are subject to several sources of error. These include:
 sampling error (because only a sample of a population is interviewed);
 measurement error due to question wording and/or question order,
 deliberately or unintentionally inaccurate responses, nonresponse
 (including refusals), interviewer effects (when live interviewers are used)
 and weighting.
     With one exception (sampling error) the magnitude of the errors that
 result cannot be estimated. There is, therefore, no way to calculate a
 finite "margin of error" for any survey and the use of these words should
 be avoided.
     With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is
 possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not
 other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure
 probability sample of 12,857 vehicle-owning adults one could say with a 95
 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1
 percentage point. However that does not take other sources of error into
 account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and
 therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
     About Harris Interactive(R) Automotive & Transportation Research (ATR)
     The Harris Interactive ATR Practice,
 (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/services/automotive.asp) based in Rochester,
 New York and Detroit, Michigan, specializes in consumer-based and business-to-
 business-based market research for vehicle manufacturers, Tier 1-2-3 suppliers
 and automotive distribution firms. Additional information on the AutoTECHCAST
 study can be found at:
     About Harris Interactive
     Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market
 research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights
 and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions
 which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris
 Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest
 running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market
 research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the
 world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris
 Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and
 Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a
 global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau,
 HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data
 collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking
 research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be
 obtained at http://www.harrisinteractive.com.
     To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit
     Press Contact:
     Jen Cummings
     Harris Interactive
     Harris Interactive Inc. 08/06

SOURCE Harris Interactive