Malaysians are amongst the most avid radio listeners in the Asia Pacific region1, tuning in for an average of 21 hours and 342 minutes per week, according to recent analysis undertaken by a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers watch and buy, Nielsen.
The latest findings from Nielsen's Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) survey found that nine in 10 consumers in Peninsular Malaysia aged 10+ listen to the radio, and average time spent listening to the radio in Malaysia was the highest of the six Asia Pacific markets covered in the survey (Chart 1).
Listening hours for aged 10-24 peaked in late afternoon and night
Radio listenership for the general population showed 3 distinct peaks - morning between 6-10am, late afternoon 4-8pm and evening 8pm-12mn. Morning is the most popular time to tune into the radio for the majority of listeners. Findings also show that younger listeners ranging from primary school children to undergraduates tune in to radio in the late afternoon and at night (Chart 2).
"Whilst increasing media fragmentation means there are a growing number of media platforms vying for consumers' attention, the latest RAM survey results confirm that radio is maintaining its appeal amongst Malaysian consumers," notes Danyal Abdul Malik, Managing Director of Nielsen's media division in Malaysia. "Moving forward, as consumers are presented with more media choices than ever before, it will be critical for media owners and content providers to understand audience behaviours and media habits in order to stay one step ahead of the curve."
Radio audiences 'getting social'
The popularity of social media websites and social networking platforms has seen rapid growth in recent years in Malaysia, and a large proportion of radio audiences, particularly students and younger working adults - close to three in five radio listeners aged 15-24 (59%) participate in social networking, as do 45 percent of 25-34 year old radio listeners (Chart 3). Overall, the usage of social media by radio listeners grew 35% since the previous survey.
"Social media is changing the nature and impact of brand interactions and offer innumerable opportunities for organizations like radio stations to engage with listeners. Social networking has become increasingly important in influencing consumer decision making" said Danyal Abdul Malik. "Our recent survey3 also showed that digital consumer (69%) in Malaysia frequently read people's comments about brands, products and services. 45 percent of consumers indicate that they will post their views or reviews on products or brand on a weekly basis or even more often. The active participation of listeners via a station's social network offers an alternative platform to engage with listeners."
Participating survey channels' weekly reach audience
Among total listenership, SINAR retains its number one spot with 4.23 million (23.7%) average weekly listeners. Hotfm grabs second position by attracting 3.58 million (20.1%) weekly listeners, ERA follows at a close third with a reach of 3.55 million (19.9%). Suriafm continues to grow, currently reaching 2.30 million (12.9%). IKIM records a stable 811,000 listeners (4.6%) (Table 1).
Among Chinese channels, MY FM top the list with a pool of 2.18 million (12.2%) listeners, follows by 988 with a healthy 1.54 million (8.6%) listeners. One FM records an increase over the last survey period to settle at 756,000 (4.2%) average weekly listeners (Table 1).
hitz.fm is dominating and has even extended its lead among the English channels, reaching 1.93 million (10.8%) listeners, Fly ranks second with its weekly listeners increasing to 767,000 (4.3%), MIX FM reaches 593,000 (3.3%) and LITEFM reports 333,000 listeners (1.9%) (Table 1).
Bilingual channels THR Raaga/THR Gegar and Red reach 3.34 million (18.8%) and 296,000 (1.7%) respectively. (Table 1).
|Participating Channels||Average Weekly Reach Audience|
|W1 2011||W2 2011|
|THR Raaga/THR Gegar||19.6||3,402||18.8||3,341|
"While the participating survey members are constantly raising their profiles and standard of broadcasting in Malaysia through pioneering programming, marketing and interactive initiatives, the number of weekly radio listeners in Malaysia continues to grow, most notably those who are listening to English channels, according to the most recent survey," said Dato' Borhanuddin Osman, President of Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM). "Also indicated from the recent advertising spend figures, advertisers have continued to see the benefits of reaching their target markets through radio."
Automotive- Corporate Ad grabs the biggest pie of radio advertising spend growth
Advertising spending4 on radio between January and September 2011 grew by 8.9 percent to RM315.3 million compared to the same period a year ago, and now accounts for 4.4 percent of total Malaysian advertising spending (excluding classifieds).
Bank/Finance-Corporate, fast food centres and mobile line services maintain their ranking as the top three categories for ad spend, whilst Automotive-Corporate Ad emerged as the highest growth category with growth of close to 300%, heavily contributed by Shell and Petronas. (Table 2)
Advertising spend from the bank/finance corporate sector also recorded strong growth, up 249.8% year-on-year with OCBC Bank showing a significant increase in spending compared to the same period in 2010.
About the Wave 2 2011 Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) Malaysia Survey
In the second of the two surveys conducted this year, Nielsen in collaboration with Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM) and participating radio broadcasters (Airtime Management & Programming, IKIM, Media Prima Radio Network, Star Rfm and Rimakmur) continue to provide the industry with an enhanced measure of radio listening. Nielsen RAM Malaysia studies the demographic profile, listening preferences and product consumption of people in Peninsular Malaysia. The study is based on individual quarter-hour diaries completed by a representative sample of 3,000 individuals in Peninsular Malaysia. The most recent survey - Wave 2, 2011 - was conducted from 5th September - 2nd October 2011 while Wave 1 was carried out from 7 March to 3 April 2011 early this year.