Survey: Radio still a popular choice with over 20 million listeners

PETALING JAYA: Radio is still a popular choice with 20.2 million listeners tuning in every week in the first half of the year, the latest Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) revealed.

The survey by market research institute GfK in partnership with Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM) showed the appeal of radio remains strong as listeners tune in for an average of 12 hours weekly.

The latest survey was conducted over six weeks from Feb 18 to March 30, which polled 6,000 unique individuals, aged 10 years and above, in Peninsular Malaysia.

GfK utilised 4,500 paper diaries and 1,500 ediaries to collect valuable insights on the strength and scope of every radio station’s listeners across the country.

Since radio is free and ubiquitous in all cars, listening on-the-move continues to account for the majority of listening.

“Some 14 million listeners are tuning into their car radio in a week while home-listening remains prevalent with 12.6 million weekly listeners.

“This radio-focused survey collects detailed information on the breakdown of live radio listening every 15 minutes for a week, including when and where they tune in.

“The ability to analyse and plan for every quarter-hour enables radio networks, media agencies and advertisers to make more informed decisions about their radio campaigns,” GfK said in a statement.

GfK said FM radio sets continued to be the most common way radio is accessed with 17.9 million listeners tuning in, followed by 3.4 million via televisions and mobile phones as well as personal computers or tablets.

Drive segments (Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm) attracted the highest number of listeners, with a weekly audience of 13.7 million listeners, while breakfast segments (Monday to Friday, 6am to 10am) achieved 13.2 million listeners.

In terms of language, Malay stations have maintained their lead with 13.2 million weekly listeners, followed by Chinese language stations (4.4 million), English language stations (3.4 million) and Tamil language stations (1.6 million) listeners.

CRM vice-president Rizal Sahimy said radio remains relevant among Malaysians throughout the year, including during festive seasons and school holidays for music as well as entertainment at home or on the move.

He said this was seen in RAM Wave 1 2024 with the first three weeks of school holidays and second three weeks of Ramadan.

Radio listening patterns during Ramadan revealed more people listened to the radio earlier in the morning (Monday to Sunday, 5am to 6am) with 1.1 million listeners tuning in and during the breaking fast period (Monday to Friday, 7pm to 8pm).

GfK Media Measurement Lead – Malaysia June Pang said radio also has the ability to adapt accordingly in meeting the expectations and demands of audiences while continuing to attract listeners across all ages to tune in wherever and whenever they are.

Radio has also demonstrated a high social media engagement as shown by the findings from the latest GfK RAM study.

According to findings from the latest study, 7.2 million people claimed they have read or interacted with a radio station’s/show’s/presenter’s social media page in the past month.

Star Media Group’s 988 station said despite a general decline in the total Chinese listeners, 988 has recorded an increase in its weekly audience, reaching 2.1 million listeners.

“This remarkable growth is further highlighted by a rise in the Time Spent Listening, which has jumped from six hours and five minutes to 7 hours and seven minutes.

“The number of Exclusive Listeners among Chinese stations has also seen a substantial increase, from 718,000 to 820,000.

“These positive results underscore 988’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its position as an influential and preferred media choice among Malaysians.

“The station’s consistent delivery of quality content and engagement with its audience has been pivotal in achieving these milestones,” 988 said.

The station remains dedicated to its mission of delivering top-notch entertainment and information, ensuring it remains a leading media platform in Malaysia.

On the other hand, Suria FM continues to be a trailblazer, cementing its status as a preferred creative digital platform for a vast and diverse audience.

The most remarkable was when Suria FM ranked 30th globally in Triton Digital’s Monthly Streaming Metrics Ranker for December 2023.

“This marked the station’s debut among the top 30 audio producers globally, an impressive feat that showcased Suria FM’s increasing international presence.

“With 10,771 Average Active Session, 2.6 million Session Starts and 1.18 Average Time Spent Listening every Monday to Friday from 6am to 8pm, Suria FM demonstrated its relevance and engagement with a global audience,” Suria FM said.

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