Radio listenership continues to appeal among Malaysians: Nielsen

Thursday 19 November, 2015

Malaysian radio listenership stayed high, with 93.7% listeners aged 10 years and above in Peninsular Malaysia tuned-in to their favorite radio station (-1.3% compared to Wave #1, 2015), according to the latest Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) survey results released today by Nielsen, a global performance management company.(See chart 1).

The Nielsen RAM Survey is conducted twice a year in collaboration with participating radio broadcasters to provide the industry with radio listening measurement. Nielsen RAM provides listening preferences as well as listener profile and their product consumption in Peninsular Malaysia. The study is based on individual quarter-hour diaries completed by a representative sample of 3,000 individuals in Peninsular Malaysia. The most recent survey, Wave #2 2015 was conducted from 17 August– 13 September, 2015.

The 13 key radio stations from Astro Radio SdnBhd, Media Prima Radio Networks, Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) and Best Media Network continue to dominate airwaves with 65.1% of the radio market share in Peninsular Malaysia. (See chart 2).The average quarter-hour audience is stable with1.7 million average listeners and Malaysians spend 15h:58mlistening to their preferred stations in a week (compared to 1.7 million average listeners and 15h:47m in previous wave).

“Malaysians are generally still captivated by radio due to its personalized format and content. Either enjoying the latest hits or tuning in to catch up on the nation’s latest news and happenings, Malaysians are spending over two hours a day listening to their favorite station,” said Benjamin Ting, Executive Director of Media Industry Group for Nielsen Malaysia.

The Nielsen RAM survey showed that close to eight in 10 radio listeners live in urban areas (79%) and more than six in 10 are under the age of 40 years (62%). The survey also revealed that 39% of respondents are the decision-maker for purchase of grocery items in their household and 51% of radio listeners would listen to their favorite radio station during their daily commute.


Malaysian radio listeners also love shopping malls and fast food. While nearly seven in 10 respondents have visited shopping malls in the past month (67%), more than half of them have patronized fast food outlets during the same period (54%). The survey further uncovered that a least one in 10 of the respondents have also visited an electronic store or mall in the past month (11%).

“Radio continues to be a popular medium as indicated by the high reach. Besides, radio exposure has also proven to create a positive affinity for bottom-line sales,” observes Ting. “Based on a recent Nielsen sales effect study conducted in the U.S. whichexamined radio’s return on ad spend across four retail categories (Department Stores, Mass Merchandisers, Home Improvement Stores & Quick Service Restaurants), it was found that every dollar spent in radio advertising could generate up to US$17 of revenue from listeners who were exposed to radio ads.”


Listenership across Malay language stations remains stable with an overall weekly reach of 54.7% (10.3 million listeners). The top three Malay language stations are ERA FM (average weekly reach of 25.1% [4.7 million listeners]) followed by SINAR FM (average weekly reach of 19.7% [3.7 million listeners]) and Hot FM (average weekly reach of 12.6% [2.3 million listeners]). Both IKIM FM and Best FM registered an average weekly reach of 3.5% (658,000 listeners) and 2.1% (394,000 listeners) respectively. (See chart 3).

Best FM had their listeners tuned in to an average of 14 and a half hours weekly (14h:30m) while both SINARfm (8h:39m) and ERA fm (8h:03m) commanded overeight hours weekly followed by HOT fm (5h:33m).


The overall weekly reach for Chinese language stations also remains stable at 21.7% (4.1 million listeners) compared to previous wave at 21.8% (4.1 million listeners). MY FM retained its top spot as Malaysian consumers’ most preferred Chinese language station with an average weekly reach of 10.8% (2 million listeners) followed by one FM with 4.9% (915,000 listeners) and MELODY FM with 3.1% (589,000 listeners).

Malaysians clocked in more than8 hours weekly listening to MY FM (8h:23m), MELODY FM (8h:04m)andone FM(8h:02m).


English language stations in Malaysia are stable with overall weekly reach of 10.4% (1.9 million listeners). Malaysia’s leading English language station is still Hitz.FM with a weekly reach of 6.6% (1.2 million listeners) followed by fly FM with a weekly reach of 2.8% (528,000 listeners). Lite FM (250,000 listeners)and Mix FM (245,000 listeners) recorded a weekly reach of 1.3% respectively. Listeners also spent close to seven hours of infotainment on Lite FM (6h:53m) and more than five hours on fly FM (5h:40m), Mix FM(5h:32m) and Hitz.FM (5h:14m).

THR Raaga and THR Gegar also maintained an average weekly reach of 19.3% (3.6 million listeners) with listeners tuning into this bi-lingual station for almost 13 hours weekly (12h:55m).

“Radio has a variety of formats that reaches targeted audiences and its content is available across different platforms. With its high reach and ability to connect to listeners whether in-home or out-of-home, radio remains a critical element in any media campaign”, said Ting.

Chart 1: Malaysia radio audience weekly reach (Wave #1, 2010 – Wave #2, 2015)

Source: Nielsen Radio Audience Measurement, Wave #2, 2015

Note: There is no reporting for Wave #1, 2013

Chart 2: Malaysia radio broadcaster share (Wave #2, 2015)

Source: Nielsen Radio Audience Measurement, Wave #2, 2015

Chart 3: Participating radio station’s average weekly reach audience

Source: Nielsen Radio Audience Measurement, Wave #2, 2015

Country Malaysia
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