Podcasts are the most trusted medium, according to study

Over 70% of listeners have acted on a product endorsement from podcasters

Podcasters are more trusted by their audience than personalities in any other medium, according to new statistics released by Acast, with the majority of listeners reporting that they give good product endorsements. 

The data is derived from a survey conducted in September 2023 with US consumers aged 16-70, and looks at the levels of trust between audiences and different media personalities including podcasters, YouTubers, social media creators, radio station hosts, and cable TV personalities. 

According to Acast, more than 50% of US podcast listeners trust podcasters more than any other media personalities, while just 44% of YouTube viewers trust YouTubers the most. Additionally, the majority of podcast listeners (64%) make more time to consume content from podcasters than they do with media personalities from other formats. 

Acast also highlighted the effectiveness of investing in host-read sponsorship reads as a way for brands to drive consideration, as 75% of listeners have acted on a product endorsement from a podcaster, with 73% of those that did reporting that podcasters generally give reliable endorsements.

Sounds Profitable and Signal Hill Insights’ Podcast Landscape report also shows that podcast listeners trust podcasters’ recommendations, as 25% of respondents said they would find new podcasts through recommendations from another podcast host.

With YouTube now making it easier to integrate podcasting into the platform by adding it to YouTube Music and soon allowing podcasters to integrate RSS feeds to the platform, brands can also invest in podcasters on YouTube, as 79% of listeners have acted on a product endorsement from YouTubers. 

According to Acast director of research and insights Tommy Walters, more people are turning to podcasters “as a source of truth” due to a deterioration of trust in the US media which comes as a result of conflicting coverage in the news, as well as political uncertainties. 

“During times of hardship and uncertainty - like the start of the pandemic and the beginning of the war in Ukraine - at Acast we have consistently seen audiences flock to podcasts for deep conversations and analysis over clickbait headlines,” said Walters. “When it comes to product endorsements, we have also seen audiences be more trusting of podcaster recommendations than any other form of media.”