The tumult of 2020 upended many aspects of consumer lifestyles and media habits. But one thing the pandemic didn’t change was the trust Americans place in advertising on radio and other traditional media. According to an online survey conducted by YouGov from Dec. 31, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021, television, print, and radio command the most trust of ten media types studied. Radio placed third with 45% saying they find it somewhat or very trustworthy, just a hair behind print and television which were tied for first place at 46%. Podcasts came in fifth place at 30% while social media ranked last at 19%.
The results are part of a 17-country study that examined how trustworthy consumers find advertising to be across ten popular media channels. “The data reveals large differences between the low levels of trust held by several European countries and the United States in newer media channels versus significantly higher levels of credibility given to them in developing markets like Mexico and Asia-Pacific,” YouGov Data Journalist Hoang Nguyen writes in a report on the study. “Other forms of digital media like websites and search engines – which Americans and Britons tend to not trust – manage to garner higher levels of credibility at the global level (38% and 41%, respectively.)”
The data is based on interviews with 18,929 adults across 17 markets. Data from each market used a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which used urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which used online representative samples.
Beyond trusting radio ads, consumers also find radio to be vital source of information, according to MRI-Simmons data summarized in a “Radio Matters” blog post from the Radio Advertising Bureau. More than half of consumers (56%) say radio keeps them up to date with the latest styles and trends, 54% agree that radio ads provide useful info about bargains and 52% say radio provides useful info about new products and services.
“Despite numerous options available to consumers today to gain information and trust the means of that information, traditional media still ranks high,” RAB Senior VP of Insights Annette Malave writes. “As a traditional medium available across a multitude of devices and platforms, radio is a local medium that is not only a companion but a trusted source of advertising and for information.”