Arbitron National In-Car Study

The Arbitron/Edison Media Research National In-Car Study will provide a detailed examination of America’s in-car media audience and their exposure to outdoor advertising, radio, and audio technologies. The study will also examine the shopping and purchase decisions of America’s mobile consumers.


Over the last decade, Arbitron has conducted many insightful studies on topics such as Internet broadcasting, cinema advertising, outdoor advertising as well as radio listenership. Our first work in examining the mobile audience began in Los Angeles with a series of studies exploring the value of the in-car consumer. In 2002, we conducted the Mexico: Radio on the Go study, which profiled Mexican consumers in vehicles and at work. The National In-Car Study represents our first comprehensive national analysis of the behavior of Americans in-car, as well as a look at the increasing role out-of-home advertising media play in reaching the elusive and busy American consumer. A similar study of in-car consumers in the United Kingdom is available at the Arbitron Web site at


The study explodes the misperception that only large cities have significant in-car audiences; instead, we demonstrate how crucial the in-car audience is to U.S. markets of all sizes. In-car now represents the number one location of radio listening for most popular advertising demographics. For outdoor advertisers, miles traveled per week and time spent commuting are consistent by county size, indicating out-of-home is an important media vehicle in all sized markets.


A major area of our focus is shopping on the way home from work, which could be dubbed shopping “prime time.” Disciples of the popular “recency” philosophy of media planning, espoused by noted media researcher Erwin Ephron, will find benefit in utilizing out-of-home media such as outdoor and radio to impact these purchase decisions and shopping behaviors.


As with all Arbitron and Edison Media Research industry reports, copies of the study can be obtained free of charge at and Also on the Arbitron Web site is Arbitron’s Metro Commuting Profile at, detailing market-by-market commuting profiles for Arbitron’s 287 measured markets.


Please refer to the document on the right  to download the full findings.