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Hub: Streaming Video Among Top Mass Transit Content Choices

Streaming video is one of the key content choices for consumers while traveling on mass transit, according to new data from Hub Entertainment Research.

When traveling by mass transportation, streaming video captured the attention of nearly 50% of all commuters, according to the study.

Still, Hub found that while digital options are increasingly important, legacy media such as broadcast radio still dominates for those driving a car. 

The results are based on a November 2022 survey of 2,566 U.S. consumers.

“Traditional radio is surprisingly resilient in the car, where it has been king for many years,” David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and author of the study, said in a statement. “But we see digital media — particularly streaming music and audio services — have made great inroads into the media habits of commuters and travelers, which is likely to continue as in-car integration and access during other travel modes becomes simpler and cheaper.”

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Aside from over-the-air (OTA) and satellite radio, digital content makes up three of the top five media sources used by drivers: paid streaming music services, free streaming music services, and personal music downloaded onto smartphones or tablets. Lesser used in-vehicle digital media include podcasts and audiobooks.

Users of mass transit (buses, trains, subways, ferries) use a number of digital media options along with OTA radio. Similarly to cars, personal music and free/pay streaming music services are in the top five used on mass transit, but so are free streaming video services.

Almost two in three drivers (63%) say they use OTA radio “every” or “most” times they drive, with one in six listening to an OTA simulcast via streaming. An OTA radio is the media device most likely to influence choice of a new car, with 39% saying they’re more likely to buy a car if it has an OTA radio, compared with runners-up satellite radio (31%) and Apple CarPlay (27%), the latter showing consumers desire for aggregating media services overall. 

Music and talk radio (sports, politics, or other) are more likely to be consumed when someone is driving.  Audiobooks and podcasts — perhaps because they command more attention — are somewhat more likely to be used by those riding mass transit. News and weather are equally likely to be used in both scenarios.

On airlines, the medium most often used are books (37% of flyers use them “every”/”most” times they fly), with personal music collections ranking No. 2 (33%). 

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