The #Evolution of In-Dash Entertainment

The convenience of plugging an audio device or smartphone into a car stereo is great. But at what cost?

Fewer vehicles are coming with CD players as a basic feature of the stereo and, while it’ll take some time, it’s likely other manufacturers will follow suit, according to a recent article from the UK Telegraph. Experts are predicting only one-third of new vehicles in the 2019 model year will feature in-dash CD players as a standard feature, and they’ve got a decent reason to believe that, as many new models already offer CD players as an option that must be selected.

Market research firm JATO Dynamics found that 59 percent of cars come with CD players as a standard feature, a considerable drop from 79 percent a decade ago. That’s expected to drop to 35 percent by 2019.

JATO analyst Sue Barnes tells the Telegraph that more vehicle manufacturers are opting for USB connections, with 75 percent of vehicles now featuring them, while 56 percent of vehicles offer digital radio services.

Driving the drop could be a simple declining interest in physical media as a form of entertainment. “People simply don’t carry 15 CDs around in their car glove box with them anymore—instead they have hundreds or thousands of tracks on the device in their pocket,” suggests Simon Hucknall, a PR manager for Vauxhall. The Telegraph notes that album sales in the UK fell 5.7 percent, to 21.4 million, in the first half of 2015, while the sale of digital albums also decreased by 6.6 percent at the same time.

Read the whole article here. Personally, I’m all for options: I keep a stack of CDs, along with an MP3 player, in the car, and up until this week I had a subscription for satellite radio service for when terrestrial radio service faded out. What’s your preference? Tell us in the comments.

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