The Future of Connected Car Advertising

By Audacy Team

In 2021, connectivity remains a major area of focus for the automotive industry – and with good reason. Americans spend almost an hour per day in their cars1 – and they’re doing more than just driving. Today’s vehicles serve as an entertainment center, workspace and restaurant, with thousands of data elements that connect personal devices with external infrastructure. With the connected car market projected to reach 76.3 million shipments by 20232, there’s tremendous opportunity for brands to utilize in-car content solutions to reach driving audiences and take advantage of the outsized role audio will play in the marketing ecosystem.

Where Are We Now?

There’s no shortage of players vying to lead the connected car evolution. Traditional auto manufacturers (OEMs), major tech leaders, data companies, and mobile carriers contribute to a highly fragmented market. OEMs test separate paths focusing on industry partnerships, software platforms, data privacy and enhanced connectivity.

The sheer volume of data emanating from a single car remains vast but disjointed, with software and sensors generating more than 25 gigabytes of data per hour. Continued R&D along with significant data partnership evaluations to aggregate usable datasets remain critical next steps as cars move to the next frontier of digitization.

Data Drives Opportunities

What we do know is that connecting vehicle data, driver insights and in-car media habits presents inordinate possibilities to enhance the driving experience. To name a few: Auto enthusiasts can see improvements in adaptive traffic and safety features, or more customized insurance services. Auto manufacturers can deliver more efficient diagnostics and maintenance. Radio companies can see aggregate in-car listening habits and deliver personalized programming.
Opportunities for advertisers go beyond geo-targeted ads or customized coupons based on recent visits to a store. Brands with access to connected car data can use it to create truly personalized content and experiences. This means understanding not only where that consumer drove, but using identity resolution to understand who that consumer is.

With connected-car data, brands can match audio consumers’ in-car ad-exposure to out-of-car experiences. For instance, they can match drivers who heard an in-car radio ad to stream a newly released show to laptop devices and confirm user downloads. Brands can also explore closed-loop in-car experiences such as in-car commerce with ads that facilitate voice- activated purchases.

Consumers See Benefits Ahead of Privacy Roadblocks

Responsible data use is critical to success with connected cars. Data security is a critical component of innovation efforts. Players in this emerging marketplace need clarity over data ownership, privacy and security. The good news is that drivers are not as opposed to providers utilizing their in-car data as one might think. Consumers responded with high levels of interest in utilizing their location or personal data to deliver enhanced auto experiences: A Global Web Index study shows that 61% would like to get help finding available parking spaces. 57% want voice command radio and podcast changes. And 45% want reminders to buy something later when they’re not driving3.

What’s Next?

Brands and publishers alike are becoming keenly aware of the growing influence of the connected car market. In the digitized future, as voice activation becomes a common consumer habit, audio content in connected cars will play a prominent role in driving customers to purchases.
Understanding the roadmap that lies ahead for the connected car market requires insights from leaders across a number of impacted industries.

To learn more about changes and disruption for the advertising ecosystem, view our webinar Connected Cars: Disruption To The Advertising Ecosystem

We assembled a group of audio and emerging technology leaders to help advertisers understand the disruption that’s coming, take advantage of new opportunities and prepare for the role data will play in this market transformation.

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1. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, American Driving Survey, 2019
2. eMarketer, Connected Cars 2020 Report
3. Global Web Index custom survey, November 2019 — as referenced by eMarketer Connected Cars 2020 Report

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