The Star Malaysia - Star2
Stand the test of time
Malaysians still choose radio as favourite audio platform, says survey.
A RECENT survey of radio behaviour in Malaysia conducted by GFK reveals live radio is still the most popular form of audio entertainment among Malaysians.
Live radio accounts for 43% share of total listening hours in a week, detailed the report. In comparison, streaming services pulls in 26% of listenership, owned music contributes to 20% and podcasts/audio books records 11%.
GFK Radio Insights study further showed that 53% of the total listeners surveyed have at least one official local radio station app installed on their device.
Other popular music apps with Malaysians are Spotify (42%), Joox Music (33%) and Apple Music (14%).
The popularity of radio is said to be due to a variety of playlist available within a station. This is backed by the stats that more than 74% of listeners rely on radio to discover new music, compared to Facebook/ Instagram/tiktok (41%) and Spotify (33%).
And the other very important reason why most Malaysians favour this medium is that there is no subscription fee.
“Radio is still relevant because we keep reinventing ourselves with the latest technologies to reach our audience. I’m not surprised that free radio is more popular than a paid music streaming services,” stated Roslinda Abd Majid, better known as DJ Lin, the general manager of the Malay-language station, Suria FM.
The survey conducted online from July 1 to 14, 2021 looked into the appeal of radio to listeners in the digital era, as well as
during the movement control order.
It discovered that 63% homebound Malaysians are listening to more radio now and that they are tuning via their mobile phones, computers or tablets rather than traditional FM receivers.
“Due to MCO and a decrease in people commuting to work, we saw a spike in online listenership,” agreed DJ Lin, an award-winning radio host.
The study also highlighted that radio appeals to those in the age group of 25 to 39 years old; with 54% of this group having increased their radio listening time during MCO. People in the same age group also claimed that radio is their favourite source for up-to-date music.
DJ Lin reasoned the medium’s popularity: “We continue to engage our listeners by making our online radio stream available on popular digital platforms such as Joox and Youtube.
“We also have special campaigns such as the Perarakan Merdeka Suria where people can watch the Merdeka celebration virtually, virtual concert Konsert Digital Jelajah Suria, and so on.”
One of the more interesting findings is that 63% listeners tune in to radio because it provides listeners emotional support, which is of utmost important especially in these challenging times. The participants agree that they will miss radio if it is no longer available.
According to DJ Lin, Suria FM’S most popular programmes are Suria Cinta and Gaya Suria, which boast one million online listenership each. DJ Lin herself has hosted Suria Cinta for more than 10 years now, and the programme has grown more in demand with the listeners over the years.
She mentioned: “Radio has long been a trusted companion for people of all ages. So, it’s no surprise that listeners will miss radio if it’s no longer available especially when other music apps do not provide that live, human connections.”