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Study Reveals Trust with Radio and Podcast Influencers


iHeartMedia
iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia and PMX, the investment arm of Publicis Media, have unveiled the results of a study focused on the community of audio influencers. The study, "Exploring The Brand Benefits of Trust and Companionship in Audio" found that consumers perceive radio and podcast personalities as highly relatable, trustworthy and authentic.

The new study, conducted by Magid, combines quantitative and qualitative methods to highlight the role that different audio channels play in the lives of audiences when it comes to trust and companionship. According to the research, radio hosts rank high when it comes to their perceived authenticity and connections to the communities they serve. Podcast hosts are perceived as highly honest and trustworthy.

"With the resiliency of radio and recent explosion of the podcasting space, audio influencers have emerged as a new avenue for advertisers to continue to connect with audiences in authentic ways," said PMX National Audio Practice Lead Chris Yarusso. "Our research confirms that radio and podcast hosts are perceived as some of the most trustworthy, essential, and relatable personalities in the media ecosystem. With the diversity and variety of radio and podcast content in the marketplace, there is an enormous strategic opportunity for brands to connect with highly engaged consumers across this evolving influencer marketplace."

The study proves promising for advertisers. Fifty-five percent of participants said they listen to commercials more often on radio and in podcasts than through any other medium. In addition, 53 percent found radio and podcast advertisements to be more relevant than on any other medium and 51 percent said they are more trusting of radio and podcast advertisers than on any other medium. When comparing radio versus streaming music services in nine consumer categories including restaurants, retail, automobiles and more, consumers who purchased a product were more likely to buy from an audio advertisement in every single category.

"This research highlights what we call the 'trust halo,' the unique relationship and trust that audio listeners form with their favorite hosts, personalities and programs," said iHeartMedia CMO Gayle Troberman. "Marketers benefit from this trust halo, as this connection extends into advertising, product recommendations, and the radio and podcast communities at large. Listeners feel an unmatched sense of companionship and learn more about the world and about themselves."

Other key data takeaways from the study include:

  • Radio listeners are 129 percent more likely than listeners of other audio platforms to say they listen "to be entertained;"

  • Podcast listeners are 158 percent more likely than listeners of other audio platforms to say they listen "to immerse myself;"

  • Radio hosts are seen as some of the most relatable and trusted influencers, when compared to other vertical such as TV and social

  • 67 percent of podcast listeners and 74 percent of heavy podcast listeners (defined as the top 25 percent of hours listened per week) say that podcasts "motivate and inspire me;"

  • 71 percent of podcast listeners and 79 percent of heavy podcast listeners say that podcasts "educate/teach me something new;"

The research also included a study in which audio listeners were asked to give up radio and podcasts for three days. Participants reported feeling "lonely," "disconnected," and "more overwhelmed doing simple tasks." One radio listener said it "felt like I was being excluded from a conversation."

"Radio personalities are the original influencers. We found they've retained that status over time and are now joined by podcast hosts as major influencers in media today. And the data suggests that benefits advertisers in terms of the impact of their campaigns," said Magid Executive Vice President, Global Media and Entertainment Mike Bloxham.

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