Why Podcasters are Society’s New Most Trusted Voices

Acast podcast study. Podcasting is a medium of trust.

In a digital age brimming with a myriad of media personalities, study after study after study is showing podcasters as the emerging trusted voices in society. This trust is not just superficial; it transcends into actionable endorsements, with 3 out of 4 podcast listeners having acted on product endorsements from podcasters, and 73% affirming the value of such endorsement.

One new study by Acast, a prominent podcast company, reveals a profound affinity between podcast listeners and podcasters. According to the study, 64% of podcast listeners actively seek out podcasters, dedicating time specifically for their content, a percentage higher than any other tested media personality. This dedicated listenership highlights a level of trust and engagement that is unique to the podcasting medium.

The evolving influence of podcasters is not limited to the Acast study. A report titled “A New Era of Influence” underscores the growing impact of podcasters, with a whopping 75% of listeners valuing podcasters’ influence over that of social media influencers (15%) and TV/movie celebrities (10%). This shift in influence underscores a broader societal shift where authenticity and personal connections are prized over traditional celebrity status.

Further reinforcing this narrative is a Vox Media report which indicates that podcasts foster trust and openness to new ideas, thanks to the strong connections audiences establish with podcast hosts. The study notes that 68% of listeners, and an even higher 81% of millennial listeners, affirm having a deep connection with their favorite podcasters.

Moreover, a comparative analysis conducted in September 2023, encompassed various media personalities including YouTubers, social media creators, radio hosts, and cable TV personalities, alongside podcasters. The findings reiterated the elevated trust levels between audiences and podcasters, as compared to other media personalities.

Interestingly, the trust also extends to advertising within podcasts. A study reported that 59% of participants were attentive to podcast ads as opposed to 45% for TV ads. Additionally, podcast listeners (63%) are more likely to be updated with the podcasts than TV viewers (51%) with the shows they watch, indicating a higher level of engagement and trust with the podcast medium.

The growing trust in podcasters is a testament to the authenticity, relatability, and meaningful engagement they offer. Unlike other platforms, the podcasting space allows for in-depth discussions and a personal connection between the host and the audience, factors that are evidently resonating with the modern consumer. The value of this trust is not just theoretical; it’s driving actionable responses from listeners whether in the form of product endorsements or a deeper level of engagement with the content. As the podcasting landscape continues to flourish, the trust factor is likely to play a pivotal role in its sustained growth and influence in society.