Findings of high radio listenership in East Malaysia proves continued engagement

GfK recently conducted a concentrated Radio MCO study in partnership with Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM) to observe the radio consuming pattern specifically in East Malaysia. The study covered four main cities in East Malaysia – Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Miri and Sandakan. 

According to the survey findings, 94% of consumers in East Malaysia’s four key cities continue to listen to radio during the MCO indicating that consumers use the radio to help them cope with staying at home. In fact, 34% of listeners aged 15-49 years old claimed they have increased their radio listening compared to pre-MCO times. The study also highlighted that radio consumption is high among younger audiences as 37% of listeners aged 15-24 years old are listening to the radio more, as they adjust to spending more time at home. 

One of the main factors contributing to high radio listenership is audio entertainment and new music discovery as the findings revealed music playlist/countdown/songs dedication to be the key content type (68%) that is drawing listeners to tune in during MCO.

Unsurprisingly, the demand for news has increased during this challenging time with news, current affairs and politics content trailing closely at 66%. Almost two-thirds of the respondents said they have increased consumption of radio to get updates on news or latest information during this period (66%). 

The comedy category which emerged as the top 3 categories in radio content, accounts for almost half of listeners (45%), providing indication that people are turning to radio for entertainment and to help lift their spirits during times like this. 

However, the MCO has changed  listening patterns when it comes to location. Majority (86%) of radio listening is taking place at home—as more than half of all respondents (52%) said they are now consuming even more radio at home compared to pre-MCO times.  

The timings of when listeners tune in varies throughout the day, as the morning (6am-10am) and evening (4pm-8pm) segments continue to be a hit, attracting 51% and 47% of respondents respectively. This is possibly a result of listeners continuing to tune in to their favourite radio station when they would normally be on the way to and back from work.

Probably a result of most Malaysians craving for more human connection as they stay at home, the findings also revealed that radio listeners remain loyal and are seeking out familiar and trusted voices (radio personalities) to give them the latest live and local news no matter the time of day. Over nine in 10 (92%) people trust that the radio gives them up-to-date information about COVID-19, while 89% agreed that radio is a good source for information on the same topic. The study also revealed that over 4 in 5 (83%) trust that what they hear on radio is accurate. 

“GfK findings showed that radio takes an increasingly active part in people’s everyday lives.”

There’s something unique about radio announcers that grabs listeners‘ attention. Whether it’s the voice, the personality or the stories they tell, listeners form bonds with their favorite radio presenters. 4 in 5 (80%) listeners say they trust the information they receive from their favourite radio presenters. 

GfK findings showed that radio takes an increasingly active part in people’s everyday lives. It is a portable medium that allows consumers to multi-task and listen while they relax or work. People are listening to radio while they are relaxing (83%), browsing the internet (81%), eating (75%), doing housework/cooking (73%) or while working (60%). 

In today’s digital era, radio is everywhere, reaching consumers on-air, online and on-demand. Public participation in radio is no longer confined to the live broadcast. 58% of survey participants said they read or interacted with the social media pages of a radio station, a program or a radio presenter when they are spending time on social media.

The top three reasons why listeners are engaged with radio social media pages during MCO are to see the video /photos from a radio show (73%*), to read about and comment on music and other news e.g. current affairs (71%*) and to comment on the radio show or announcer / to share photos/personal experiences (54%*). 

In these strangest of times, we are all finding ways to cope, and radio is proving to be such a consistent source of comfort and trusted news to so many. Through this study, it is evident that radio continues to be a popular medium and has its strengths that continues to make it a must-listen experience for consumers. In fact, almost two in five participants (39%) from the study said they will consume more radio in the future. 

*Base: Listeners who have read or interacted with (liked/followed/commented/shared) a radio station’s/show’s/presenter’s social media pages during MCO)

Radio Engagement in East Malaysia


HITZ Sarawak has produced their own Gawai song – Aku Ka Gawai last year & received tremendous views on social media. This year, HITZ Sarawak in collaboration with Digi, has released another Gawai song, Gawai Taun Tu. Gawai this year is not going to be the same; those who are celebrating are not able to return to their village to visit their family & friends. The song was released today on HITZ together with the music video on HITZ Sarawak FB.

Gawai Taun Tu

This GAWAI, HITZ Sarawak and Digi want to connect you to what matters most with their latest song “Gawai Taun Tu”. During this festive season, we strive to keep the celebration alive for Sarawakians, uniting the community to stay positive and always remember that after a storm comes a rainbow. Ooohaaaa!

Dikirim oleh Quake MY pada Kamis, 28 Mei 2020


ERA Sabah together with Astro Prima is bringing the Kaamatan celebration alive through a 2 hour STAY AT HOME CONCERT. During this concert, viewers can catch live and there will also be a special appearance of celebrities/Radio announcers/KOLs/influencers.

The program will be broadcasted on 31 May from 12pm-2pm on ERA Sabah FB live, simultaneously casted on Astro Prima.

Host Concert: Addnan ERA Sabah  & Lopz ERA Sabah

Artist: Andi Bernadee, Stacy Anam, Zizi Kirana, Daniesh Suffian, Alumni Sugandoi (Finalist of Sugandoi 2019) and many more.

Sponsor: Kementerian Belia dan Sukan Sabah