Radio surpasses popular music apps to reign as the most listened to audio platform in Malaysia
GfK recently conducted the yearly GfK Radio Insights study to investigate the appeal of radio to listeners in today’s digital era, as well as during the Movement Control Order (MCO). According to the findings, radio has a huge role to play in music discovery with 74 percent of listeners rely on radio for music discovery more than Facebook / Instagram / TikTok (41%) and Spotify (33%).
The study also demonstrates that radio still has a firm hold on the market today. More than half of total listeners have at least one official Malaysia radio station app installed on their device (53%). This is more than other streaming apps such as Spotify (42%), JOOX Music (33%) and Apple Music (14%). According to findings, the popularity of radio station app is driven by the availability of a variety choices of playlist or radio stations (91%) and also the fact that it doesn’t incur any subscription charges (76%).
Despite the competition for ear-time from listeners’ own music collection as well as streamed music services, live radio remains the most popular form of audio entertainment that listeners are spending the most listening hours on in a week. The report revealed that live radio accounts for 43 percent share of total listening hours in a week, compared to 26 percent share clocked by streaming services, and 20 percent by owned music. Podcasts / audio books recorded 11 percent share.
Homebound Malaysians continue to listen to radio, making it one of the top most consumed media amongst consumers in the country on a daily basis. The survey highlights that almost 9 in 10 radio listeners are listening to radio; for the same or even longer duration as during the MCO. In fact, over three in five (63%) indicated they are now listening more radio at home.
In addition, radio listening occurs across multiple devices and platforms, which allows listeners to tune in to their favourite station whenever and wherever they want. Findings reported a surge in radio listening via portable device with 62 percent tuning in more frequently via mobile phone and 38 percent listened more via computer or tablet.
“New media is changing the way listeners consume audio content. However, radio’s edge over the other platforms can be attributed to the fact that it’s live, free and gives an element of surprise once in a while, which is why it manages to retain the loyalty of its listeners.” said Alex Poon, President of Commercial Radio Malaysia.
Radio has always played a vital role in companionship and providing emotional support to listeners. Findings show that 63 percent of listeners agree that they will miss radio if it is no longer available, an indication that radio has successfully established strong emotional connection with listeners during such trying times.
Despite the rise of alternative sources of music, radio continues to appeal to millennials with 54 percent of them increased their radio listening during MCO. It also emerged as the most popular music source, with 76 percent of millennials claiming radio to be their favourite source for up-to-date music.
With its widespread reach, radio advertising serves as a great launchpad; as the first touchpoint on a customer’s journey which is then followed up with an action taken at advertiser’s store. The study showed that 46 percent of millennials frequently visit the advertiser’s offline / online store after hearing a broadcast radio ad. The study also indicated that advertising on radio makes a brand seems more authentic or appealing, agreed by 65 percent of millennials. Meanwhile, 52 percent agreed that they will consider buying the product after hearing a broadcast radio advertisement.
“Radio continues to engage Malaysians day and night across a range of devices and platforms even as we go through this challenging times together. The ability of radio to connect listeners with news, music, entertainment and community are the main driving factors why radio will continue to stay relevant and draw audiences back for more.” said June Pang, Malaysia Media Measurement Lead at GfK.