The evolution of radio: Astro Radio charts digital heights with SYOK - MARKETING Magazine Asia


The evolution of radio: Astro Radio charts digital heights with SYOK

2020 saw many dramatic shifts and changes in the media landscape as consumers adjust to social restrictions and the pandemic. In Malaysia, internet usage increased by more than 29% between 2019 and 2020, which correlated with a surge in online activities peaking at 4.8 hours per day including consuming entertainment, shopping and chatting.

The consumption of digital content continues to grow across all ages, further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the MCO. Radio is not spared from this digital migration and shift in the consumer’s media consumption trends. Such industry changes force many radio networks to pivot their business models in order to be relevant to the daily lives of over 20.3 millionweekly Malaysian listeners.

A recent GfK study showed that 97% of Malaysians continue to consume radio from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. The continuation of travel restrictions has increased in-home listening to radio via mobile devices for the latest breaking news and entertainment. Astro Radio understands that radio listenership is increasingly driven by an omnipresence in digital arenas catering to listeners in their cars, at home or in offices via mobile devices. To this end, Astro Radio’s 11 radio brands housed under its SYOK app continuously create and evolve to remain relevant to fans. Through the SYOK app, all Malaysians can opt to stream their favourite radio brands, music channels and a wide variety of podcasts.

Aaron Pinto, Head of Content, Astro Radio said, “In conjunction with World Radio Day 2021, we are delighted that Malaysians continue to enjoy high-quality live radio anytime, anywhere, as well as SYOK Original videos, SYOKcasts (podcasts), contests, articles, news and traffic updates on the SYOK app. SYOK continues to chart growth in an upward trajectory with an average growth of 5.72% in monthly average users to 410K as at October 2020.”

“Additionally, during the pandemic, Astro Radio acknowledged the struggles faced by many businesses trying to make ends meet and have been proactive in helping rebuild the lives of many Malaysians. Early this year, we set out to help rebuild local micro businesses by offering free publicity through free commercial airtime and exposure on Astro Radio’s social media pages and websites. We are happy to share we received more than 2,800 entries by various local businesses, across all our brands.”

During the pandemic, SYOK saw the opportunity for successful collaborations, including with e-commerce giant, Shopee, for contest ‘SYOK Super Bonanza’, where RM15,000 worth of Shopee vouchers were given out, to reward users whilst keeping them entertained in these trying times, garnering over 14,000 entries. The success led to a subsequent collaboration, ‘SYOK Ang Pow Bonanza’, a Chinese New Year contest giving out Shopee Vouchers as ‘ang pows’.  Separately, SYOK also explored a collaboration with social media platform, Tik Tok, for a hashtag campaign, #TerimaKasihHero, encouraging netizens to pay homage to our frontliners through creativity, which received over 62,300 video submissions.

Pinto said, “Through the various SYOK content pillars, we also offer a myriad of advertising and sponsorship opportunities for our partners to engage with their audiences. In 2019, Pepsi Beraya Sakan campaign on SYOK reached an estimated 5.8 million listeners and received an impressive 23,000 entries. This was made possible with our comprehensive 360° approach which utillised our talents, on-ground and ultimately our prominent digital presence. Businesses can continue to explore opportunities across all SYOK content pillars including the podcasts (SYOKcasts), which has seen a tremendous increase in listenership during the Movement Control Order.”

Under SYOK’s podcast category, Malaysians can explore several different offerings, including ‘Catch-Up Radio’, ‘SYOKcast Originals’ and shows from content partners. In 2020, ‘SYOKcast Originals’, SYOK original podcasts, achieved more than 580,000 streams. Since its launch, SYOK has continue to grow its library of original SYOKcasts and uniquely Malaysian show formats from talk shows to docu-dramas across languages, many of which featuring prominent local figures across industries. Some of the more recent SYOKcasts include ‘Belang Harimau Besi’, a strategic partnership with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the Malaysian Army (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia), ‘Remang’, Malaysia’s first horror Malay audio drama, ‘Confession Bilik Gelap’ inspiring stories by local personalities, ‘That 20’s Show’ featuring struggles of those in their 20s, ‘The Rockstar’s Guide’, for local musicians and many more.

This year, Astro Radio will continue to develop and introduce new features for the SYOK app including live streaming, offering increased opportunities for high-quality content production as well as collaborations with businesses.  

Celebrate World Radio Day 2021 and immerse yourself with the exciting SYOK app. Download SYOK for free on Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Huawei App Gallery.


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