The radio advertising scene in Malaysia

Radio as a media in Malaysia is one of the most popular ones with other mass media like television and newspapers. Malaysians tune in to the radio throughout the day with the most listeners recorded for the rush hours between 6.00am and 10.00am and 4.00pm to 8.00pm daily. This is when most people are driving to and from their work place while there are many other time when Malaysians are listening to the radio as well which determines the target group for marketers.

Background and profile 

In total, there are 53 radio stations in the country. In an average week, 90% of the listeners are 10 years old and above which as mentioned most of them are listening during the peak hours of the day. The total number of listeners throughout the week is consistent throughout the country.

Types of stations

There are in general 2 main types of radio stations. Those that is available in a particular language and cuts across various genres and format radio stations. Where this is concerned, the former are commonly offered by public or privately owned media owners while the latter are offered by the likes of AMP Radio Networks.

Privately owned radio stations total at 21 stations which is run by Media Prima who owns Fly FM, Hot FM and One FM which are in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese languages respectively, Suara Johor, Star RFM which operates 4 stations as well as others like Bernama, BFM Media and Husa Network.

On the other hand, AMP Radio Stations operate 7 format radio stations which are Era FM and Sinar FM which are in Bahasa Malaysia, Hitz.FM, Mix FM and Lite FM which are in English Language, My FM which is in Chinese and THR which is in Tamil.

All the radio stations cater to a specific group of target group where their programmes are classified under the likes of news or talks, adult contemporary, country, hot adult contemporary,  contemporary hit radio, classic rock and golden oldies.

Advertising spots

Buying advertising spots on radio is different from television where they are bought based on time blocks and day-parts where on television, advertisers usually buy spots based on the program. Where this is concerned, buying spots on radio is purely based on the time because they are at a time when a specific target group are listening to the radio.

Which station to use and when?

The most common spots that advertisers can consider when advertising on radio are in the mornings where teenagers are tuning in before school starts as well as in the afternoons when they are back from school. For the working adults, the rush hours are most common as that is when they are in the car travelling to and back from work. Other known peak hours include the mid-mornings and afternoons which garner the most female listeners who are most commonly housewives.

Advertisers would then have to identify which station would suit their products best and which time slot is most appropriate. The total number of listeners in the past few years have been very consistent.

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