Radio attracts nearly 20 million Malaysian listeners weekly

January 7, 2019
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The Radio Audience Measurement conducted by international research and analytics firm GfK in the second half of 2018, in partnership with Commercial Radio Malaysia, reveals that radio listenership in Peninsular Malaysia remains high.

The most recent survey which was conducted from September 2 to October 13, 2018 polled 6,000 unique individuals aged 10 years and above.

GfK utilised 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 – Friday, 6am10am) and drive time shows (Monday – Friday, 4pm8pm) continue to garner the highest listenership, accounting for 13.8 million and 12.9 million listeners respectively.

Breakfast shows reported a rise in weekly reach from 13.6 million in the previous survey conducted in the first half of 2018 to 13.8 million listeners in the recent wave.

Popular among younger listeners

GfK findings also showed that radio is reaching more of the younger listeners, with those from the 20-29 age group increasing by 30,000 to hit 4.46 million in weekly reach, attributed largely to the popularity of breakfast and evening shows.

In particular, over 3.03 million, some 104,000 more from the 20-29 age group tuned in weekly to breakfast shows, while evening shows also attracted around 91,000 more young listeners in the 10-29 age group to total 4.12 million listeners.

Among all the different languages, Bahasa Malaysia stations are most popular with radio audiences, tuned in by over 3 in 5 Malaysians.

These stations collectively have a weekly reach of 62.7% (13.1 million listeners).

They are trailed by the Chinese stations with 20.7% (4.3 million listeners), followed by English stations at 20.6% (4.3 million listeners) and Tamil stations at 6.8% (1.4 million listeners).


Radio insights in Peninsular Malaysia
To provide additional insights into the radio listening behavior of locals, GfK also conducted the Radio Insights study – a yearly survey of 1,000 listeners aged 15 to 49 years.

According to the 2018 Radio Insights report, the top three reasons listeners tune in to radio are to hear songs that they know and enjoy (86%), to discover new songs (54%) and to get updated on current news (47%).

The insights also showed that radio continues to be a dominant and influential media on people’s daily lives and routines, since it tends to be consumed alongside other activities, such as while driving (79%), relaxing (73%), working (57%) and while doing housework (50%).


Meanwhile, it remains the most effective and reliable media channel for advertisers to reach their audiences.

Three in five respondents agreed it is the most authentic and trustworthy amongst all media, including TV, newspaper and the internet. It also tends to have the most impact on listeners on a personal level.

While two in three (66%) agreed that listening to radio helps them to get into a better mood, half of all respondents claimed that radio provides a feeling of companionship.

“Radio has proven to be an exceptionally strong medium for information and entertainment among the population in Malaysia.

Although the number of alternative forms of media has grown, this survey results proved that radio still top the chart as the medium that reaches more consumers each week than any other,” Commercial Radio Malaysia president Ozarizan Mohd Nor said.

“Moving forward, we hope that radio will continue to profoundly enrich the lives of listeners and create value for advertisers.”

Interconnectivity with social media

In today’s era where social media plays a dominant role in our lives, radio has also demonstrated to have the highest social media engagement, according to findings from the 2018 Radio Insights.

Two-thirds (67%) of respondents claimed that they have read or interacted with a radio station’s/show’s/presenter’s social media pages in the past month, as compared to other media channels such as TV (53%), newspaper (37%) and magazine (34%).

“From the latest results, it is evident that radio remains very popular across the entire Malaysian population,” commented Lee Risk, APAC commercial director for media at GfK.

“What’s also encouraging is that the media continues to attract an increasing number of younger listeners, despite the fact that there are many other media options available to them in today’s digital era,” he added.

Related news: Astro Radio continues to lead with 15.3 million listeners

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