Monday, January 7, 2019

Survey: Radio Scores As Most Trusted

According to the results of a survey just released by iHeartMedia, radio is:

According to E-B Moss at MediaVillage, trust and audio are not new bedfellows -- especially as it relates to broadcast radio, which remains at the top in audio listenership.  That trust is based largely on the unique bond listeners have with their favorite on-air radio personalities.  Choosing a personality to keep you company as you commute, or “whisper in your ear” at work, creates a powerful relationship, one that listeners think of as personal, complete with the emotional connection.

Gayle Troberman
That’s what makes the recommendations from personalities be perceived as -- even recalled as -- word-of-mouth from a friend and resonate in a way that has long benefited savvy advertisers.  But the empirical proof that more people trust radio than any other medium is eye-opening.  The iHeartMedia survey, condcted December 2018, reveals that 85 percent of listeners believe radio personalities make radio “more real and expressive than other media."  Eighty percent say they feel radio personalities care about their audience and care about “things that matter to me.”

Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer for iHeartMedia, is not surprised, though.  Long an audio advocate, even in her previous roles helming marketing at Microsoft and IPG, Troberman believes that, “one big reason you see stats like ‘9 out of 10 people listen to radio’ is the deep relationships fans have with their favorite personalities and shows.  You drive to work together every day for years and listeners feel they really know the DJ through his or her honest, unscripted conversation."

As the largest purveyor of radio, with 850 stations reaching a quarter of a billion people nationwide, iHeartMedia has a double reason to be happy:  It emerged from the survey as the most trusted radio brand, twice the trust of some competitors.  Why?  Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, points directly to their “live, local and human focus.  We empower our on-air personalities to curate the conversations, content and culture that are important and relevant to the everyday life of their specific audiences,” he says.  “It’s this ‘human first’ approach to programming that differentiates us.”

That trust transfers to advertisers, creating, Pittman says, “the perfect context for brands wanting to connect and build deep relationships with their consumers.”

Troberman agrees and has been leveraging those DJ/listener relationships to boost both audiences and advertising revenue by partnering closely with brands to help deliver results through audio so the survey results are a point of satisfaction.  “It’s not only that our brand is trusted, but it’s important to all marketers to really recognize how radio literally speaks to consumers.  Planners, especially, can be rock stars with their clients by tapping into this undervalued medium because the listeners respond.  It’s the trust.  They buy what their ‘friends’ – the personalities – recommend.”

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