PETALING JAYA: The Star, Harian Metro and Sin Chew Daily are the most frequently read newspapers and news portals in their respective language categories, according to a recent Malaysian media consumption study.
The survey of 1,031 Malaysians by market research company Vase found The Star to be the mostly widely read English language newspaper.
It reported that 69% of respondents said they read The Star most frequently, followed by New Straits Times (59%) and The Sun (33%).
The Star Online also came out tops as the most frequently read online news portal at 76%, followed by Malaysiakini (65%) and The Malay Mail Online (38%).
As for Malay language newspapers, the survey found that respondents frequently read Harian Metro (68%), Berita Harian (57%), and Utusan Malaysia (40%).
Sin Chew Daily is the most frequently read Chinese newspaper (67%), while Malaysia Nanban is tops for Tamil language newspapers (80%).
While the print media industry is rife with worry about the longevity of print media in an increasingly digital world, the survey indicates that newspapers are still relevant in Malaysian society.
The survey found 51% of respondents said they or their family sometimes purchased their own copy of newspapers, while 26% said they had a monthly/yearly subscription.
Only 38% believe that offline media will slowly phase out in the next five years, while 62% believe it will still be relevant.
The survey also highlighted one of the biggest challenges that the print media industry is facing in the quest to embrace digital – how to remain financially sustainable.
Only 19% of the respondents surveyed said they were currently paying to access content on local online news sites.
Despite the question of viability, news portals are among the most frequently accessed digital media platforms at 41%, the survey finds.
However, social media remains the biggest digital media platform, with a whopping 81% saying they most frequently access social media.
The top social media sites accessed are Facebook (52%), Youtube (19%), and Instagram (17%).
Only 9% say they frequently access Twitter.
The top three online TV or video services which respondents frequently access are Youtube (92%), Netflix (53%), and Facebook Watch (45%).
Vase also surveyed respondents on their communication habits, finding that respondents prefer to communicate via instant messengers (88%), phone call (60%), and e-mails (34%).
The study surveyed Malaysians aged 18 to 50 and above across the country, but with the majority of respondents (30%) from the young age category of 18 to 24.
While the respondents came from all sectors of society, 21% were white-collar workers, followed by students at 18% and self-employed at 16%.