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iHeartMedia has announced the results from a survey that provides insights into why radio is America’s most trusted medium. According to the survey, 84% of respondents said radio understands what is important to them, 20% higher than for network and cable television and social media. Conducted by AskSuzy in December 2018, the survey found iHeartRadio to be the most trusted name in radio and that its on-air personalities are more trusted than leading talk personalities in other media.

Survey respondents cited top iHeartMedia personalities as more trustworthy and relatable than top television personalities. Specifically, survey takers cited these personalities’ ability to “make radio more expressive and real than other media” and that they “care about things that matter” to listeners. In a press release announcing the survey results, iHeartMedia said, “This trustworthiness leads to greater consideration of brands that advertise on iHeartMedia radio stations.”

Among key findings, the survey found that more people trust radio than any other medium. Specifically, radio is 81% more trustworthy than cable TV, 27% more trustworthy than network TV, 36% more trustworthy than public TV/radio and two times more trustworthy than social media. Three fourths of radio listeners surveyed said they believe radio personalities are more trustworthy than TV personalities while 85% of listeners believe radio personalities make radio more real and expressive than other media and 80% of listeners feel radio personalities care about their audience and care about “things that matter to me.” In addition, the survey found iHeartRadio to be the most trusted brand in radio, with two times the trust of other radio companies.

“In a moment where consumer trust in media and marketing is eroding, it’s important to know that consumers continue to trust iHeartRadio most because of our live, local and human focus,” said iHeartMedia chairman & CEO Bob Pittman said. “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. It’s this human first approach to programming that differentiates iHeartMedia and provides the perfect context for brands wanting to connect and build deep, trusted relationships with their consumers.”

Added Gayle Troberman, chief marketing officer, iHeartMedia: “In a time when trust matters most to consumers, trust has become a critical criteria for media investment decisions and these findings are extremely compelling because they spotlight our unique and personal role in people’s lives each and every day…. Our personalities are more than just a voice on the radio, they are a trusted friend who shares common values 24/7 across 850 stations nationwide…and only iHeartMedia can deliver that scale, with the intimacy and authenticity consumers want.”