Malaysians tune in to radio weekly for an average of 13 hours

The Radio Audience Measurement 2019 conducted by GfK, in partnership with Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM), revealed that radio listenership in Peninsular Malaysia remains high, with over 20 million listeners tuning in for an average of 13 hours 23 minutes weekly.

The most recent survey which was conducted over six weeks from March 17 to April 27 polled 6,000 individuals aged 10 years and above. 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.

Results revealed that weekday breakfast shows (Monday to Friday, 6am to 10am) continue to be a hit attracting 14.6 million listeners every week, while the drive time shows (Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm) comes a close second, reaching 14.5 million listeners in a week.

GfK also observed an increase in listenership across a majority of the key segments, with an astounding growth in listenership for the afternoon segments (Monday to Friday, 1pm to 4pm), with a total of 10.7 million listeners tuning in, compared to 8.9 million listeners in GfK’s previous survey conducted in the second half of 2018.

GfK findings also showed that 96% of the Malay community tuned in to radio stations for almost 14 hours in a week, while the listenership among Chinese  increased by 71,000 listeners, recording 4.9 million listeners with an average listener spending 11 hours and 40 minutes listening to radio in a week. Indian/Others climbed to an overall weekly reach of 95% (1.9million listeners) as compared to 94% (1.7 million listeners) in the previous survey. In addition, Indian/Others clocked more time listening to the radio, registering an average of almost 14 hours a week, a jump from around 11 hours from the previous survey.

Among the key languages in Malaysia, Bahasa Malaysia stations are most popular, with 13.5 million listeners. They are trailed by the Chinese stations with 4.6 million listeners, followed by English stations at 3.8 million listeners and Tamil stations at 1.8 million listeners.

The survey also highlights that radio continues to appeal to the younger population as the number of listeners aged 20 – 29 has risen to 4.6 million weekly. With 180,000 new listeners in this age group since the last survey, it was observed that on average, each listener spent about 13 hours listening to the radio in a week. Of this, 4 in 5 of them said they tune in to the radio in the car.   

Radio continues to be a powerful and influential medium, with an impact on people’s daily lives and routines. In the most recent survey, listenership in car registered a double-digit growth, with an increase of 11%. Radio listenership in car remains high with 16.2 million Malaysians choosing to listen to the radio during their car rides, followed by 13.6 million listeners tuning in to the radio at home and 2.3 million listening to radio at work.

“The results demonstrate that radio remains relevant even in the era of media fragmentation. As it can be accessed anytime and anywhere, the radio is appealing, especially to younger audiences as they can easily tune in at home, at work, in the car or digitally via their mobile device. As radio listenership is on the rise, it is an effective medium for brands to leverage to communicate with their target consumers, said Ozarizan Mohd Nor, President of Commercial Radio Malaysia.

“From the latest results, it is evident that radio continues to be a popular medium in Malaysia. It remains the go-to option for the majority of Malaysians, especially on their commute to and from work during the peak hours. As radio is easily available and accessible, it remains highly relevant, even in today’s digital age” commented Lee Risk, APAC commercial director for media at GfK.

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