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Adults’ Most Trusted Media? Yes, It’s Radio.

According to a nationwide survey of 1,000 adults conducted earlier this month by Katz Radio Group, radio leads other media in trustworthiness.

Asked about their trust in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and social media, nearly eight in ten adults 18+ (79%) scored radio as either very trustworthy or trustworthy, just ahead of newspapers and with a 16% advantage over TV and magazines (both 68%), and nearly three times the reported trust in social media (28%).

The results align closely with those of a survey conducted earlier this year by Morning Consult, which found that 63% of U.S. adults have either “a lot” or “some” trust in radio, ahead of newspapers (60%) and social media (45%).

“Our simple probe into the minds of consumers turned up some encouraging news for the radio industry and advertisers,” Katz’s report says. “When it comes to consumer trust in an expansive world of media platforms, hearing is believing.”

Breaking down the sample by key demographics, adults 18-34 show a similar level of trust in radio, again at 79%. Among this demo and adults 35-54, social media still lags far behind at 33%. Radio scores even higher among adults 55+, where 83% trust the medium, with social media plunging to just 19%.

“Regardless of age and life stage, radio consistently achieved a high level of consumer trust, while other media types saw shifts, especially among the older and younger crowds,” the report notes, concluding that “radio is the ideal platform for advertisers looking to make their voice heard and their message count. Unlike with risky social media platforms, brands utilizing radio in their media mix can be sure that they are reaching wide audiences in brand-safe environments with the best chance for messaging to break through, resonate, and not be mistrusted by consumers.”

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