Radio retains its charm with Malaysian listeners

Malaysia has come out on top once again with one of the highest radio listenership in the region.

According to a study done by research agency Nielsen, more than 17 million of its population aged 10 years and above tune in to a radio station daily. Over nine in 10 Malaysians spend an average of 18 hours weekly listening to their favorite radio station (94.4%) according to the latest Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) survey results released today by Nielsen.

“Even with the higher fragmentation of media, radio continues to be a favorite among Malaysian consumers. And this is evident from the high time spent listening and number of listeners,” said Benjamin Ting, executive director of media industry group for Nielsen Malaysia.

“This is an excellent opportunity for marketers to reach a larger audience as more Malaysians are listening to radio and majority of them are tuning in to their favorite stations for a longer periods of time,” added Ting.

Malay language stations maintained an overall weekly reach of 55% (10.2 million listeners). ERA fm leads the Malay language stations with an average weekly reach of 27.8% (5.2 million listeners) followed by SINAR fm with 19.7% (3.7 million listeners) and Hot FM with 14.5% (2.7 million listeners). Listeners spend a minimum of nine hours weekly tuning into SINAR fm and ERA fm and at least seven hours weekly on HOT fm.

The overall weekly reach for Chinese language stations is 22% (4.1 million listeners). MY FM retained its top spot as Malaysians’ most preferred Chinese language stations with an average weekly reach of 10.9% (2 million listeners) followed by one FM with 6% (1.1 million listeners) and MELODY FM with 2.9% (533,000 listeners). Listeners on average tune in for about 10 hours weekly on MELODY FM, MY FM, and one FM.

THR Raaga and THR Gegar recorded an average weekly reach of 20% (3.8 million listeners), a 1% increase as compared to last wave.

The survey also reveal that 9% (1.7 million listeners) of Malaysian consumers listen to English language stations with leading the list with 5.8% (1.1 million listeners) and fly FM with 2% (368,000 listeners).

The 12 key radio stations from Astro Radio, Media Prima Radio Networks and the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) commanded that nearly 70% of the radio market in Peninsular Malaysia while remaining share of 30% is fragmented across more than 50 radio stations.

The Nielsen RAM survey is conducted twice yearly in Peninsular Malaysia and is based on individual quarter-hour listening by at least 3,000 sample individuals across four weeks per wave. The survey uses a panel of listeners, designed to accommodate listening habits, irrespective of platform of listening. All methods of listening to radio is captured, be it via a traditional radio set, mobile phone, set top box, online or via applications (apps).