Malaysia, 26.11.2020

94% of Malaysians tune in to radio weekly using multiple platforms

GfK’s Radio Audience Measurement conducted in the second half of 2020 in partnership with Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM), revealed that radio listenership in Peninsular Malaysia remains high, reaching 94 percent of the total population, on an average week.

Radio continues to attract listeners, with 20.3 million listeners tuning in for an average weekly duration of 13 hours and 44 minutes. The most recent survey which was conducted over six weeks from September 6 to October 17 polled 6,000 unique individuals aged 10 years and above in Peninsular Malaysia. GfK utilized 4,500 paper diaries and 1,500 e-diaries to collect valuable insights on the strength and scope of radio listening across the country.

Findings from the survey revealed that 14.3 million listeners are consuming radio at home—a 4 percent increment compared to the last survey. In-car listening continued to record the highest listenership across all of Peninsular Malaysia regions, accounting for an audience size of 15.1 million, while radio listening at work remained stable at 2.7 million listeners. The numbers also show a spike in people listening to radio through digital and TV sets/decoders, which saw 25 and 12 percent respective increase in listeners compared to the previous survey.  

“GfK’s results revealed that radio remains a highly effective medium that is also flexible enough to continue reaching out to a large audience during these challenging times,” said Lee Risk, APAC Commercial Director for Media at GfK. “Not only are listeners able to tune in from their vehicles, many are also accessing radio content via various other digital means such as apps and radio stations websites throughout the day.

Radio consumption remains strong amongst the working adults with white collar listeners increasing by 221,000 to hit 6.2 million in weekly reach—an approximate 4 percent growth from the previous wave. The medium also attracted 461,000 more blue collar listeners to reach a total of 5.4 million from this segment in the recent wave. 

Weekday breakfast shows (Monday to Friday, 6AM to 10AM) and drive time shows (Monday to Friday, 4PM to 8PM) continue to garner the highest listenership, accounting for 15.1 million and 14.6 million listeners respectively. GfK findings also showed that heavy radio listeners (top 25% listeners with highest time spent listening) are consuming more radio compared to previous wave, listening to an average of 29 hours and 30 minutes weekly compared to 28 hours and 42 minutes weekly in the previous wave.

As consumption habits evolve during this pandemic period, what remains clear is that radio is still highly relevant during this time for a number of reasons. Aside from tuning in for their favourite music playlist, audiences are also looking to radio as a source of accurate, timely information. Over two in three (67%) say they listen to radio at home in the past month to receive updated news, issues and latest trends; while more than 3 in 5 (61%) say they prefer to have some music in the background as they go along their daily routine when they are at home.

Among the various languages, Bahasa Malaysia stations are most popular with a weekly reach of 63.1 percent (13.7 million listeners). They are followed by the Chinese stations with 21.9 percent (4.7 million listeners), English stations at 18.7 percent (4.1 million listeners) and Tamil stations at 7.9 percent (1.7 million listeners).

“While listeners may have changed the location from where they are tuning in to radio  during this time, radio continues to maintain its widespread reach. We have seen again that radio continues to prove to be a critical medium that not only entertains the listeners, but also being a source of accurate and up-to-date information,” said Alex Poon, President of Commercial Radio Malaysia.

With the popularity of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, radio personalities have also successfully gained followings on such platforms as they continue to engage and interact with their listeners off air. According to the survey, 7.9 million listeners claimed that they have read or interacted with the social media pages or websites of a radio station, a program or a radio presenter in the past month with watching video content garnered the highest engagement, attracting 6.3 million listeners in total.

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