Horizon: Six In Ten Americans Trust Radio as COVID Info Source.


According to Horizon Media's recent study of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, 60% of Americans age 18 or older say they find radio “extremely or somewhat trustworthy” when it comes to providing accurate information about COVID and the vaccine. The study, conducted among 850 Americans 18+ during April, set out to understand people’s mindsets, motivations and hesitancy around COVID-19 vaccine adoption, including media and brands trusted most when it comes to getting information about COVID-19 and vaccinations, and the most influential determinants for getting the vaccine by key age demographic.


Radio is one of four media sources with a 60% or higher trust level, along with local and national broadcast news (68% and 65%, respectively) and print news (63%). AM/FM came in ahead of cable news (57%), online digital news (56%), podcasts and other digital audio (44%) and social media (34%).


Also notable in the results of the study is that 35-54 year-olds figure prominently among the 24% of the sample who remain vaccine-hesitant. For each of three key age demos, Horizon identifies the motivating drivers for determining if participants got or will get the vaccine, with the ease of getting an appointment, day-to-day activities, the advice of a doctor and a government mandate as most influential for 35-54s. Drivers differ significantly across age groups, with vulnerability to COVID, advice of friends and family and the importance of influencers and celebrities more likely to motivate 18-34s to get the vaccine.


While overall, 80% of the sample says family, friends and local healthcare workers are most trusted when it comes to vaccine information, over half (54%) cite brands as a trusted source, with healthcare brands having the highest level of trust. While other “necessity brands” (grocery, health insurance, banking) are seen as trustworthy, discretionary brands further removed from the day-to-day (nightlife, cultural events) may be less influential. Brands encouraging vaccinations – such as Ford's “#VaxWithFacts” partnership with 11 nonprofits to combat the spread of misinformation, especially in Black and Hispanic communities, or Budweiser’s “Reunited with Buds” promotion, which offers a coupon in exchange for vaccination – could see a positive uptick in perceptions and purchase intent.

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