SPH Radio reports strong 2020 listenership figures last 6 months, surveys show

Kiss92 FM’s morning show hosts (from left) Andre Hoeden, Maddy Barber and Divian Nair. Kiss92 saw an increase in overall listenership. PHOTO: KISS92 FM

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Based on findings from independent surveys conducted in the second half of 2020, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has registered favourable listenership numbers across all of its five radio stations managed and operated by the group's subsidiary, SPH Radio.

In the latest Nielsen Radio Diary Survey, Kiss92 saw an increase in overall listenership, with the highest exclusive listenership of 160,000 weekly. The survey indicated that the station has established the largest base of young audiences between 20 and 29 years old, and was also the English station with the highest reach among audiences below 40 years old.

ONE FM 91.3 demonstrated strong appeal among the mass affluent, according to the survey. Compared with its peers, the English radio station's core audience had the highest median personal income at $6,694. Some 90 per cent of the station's core listeners are professionals, managers, executives and businessmen (PMEBs), while 54 per cent are private property dwellers.

Findings by Nielsen also showed a doubling in listenership for Money FM 89.3, which had the highest reach to car owners of 60 per cent and grocery buyers of 79 per cent in its core audience of PMEBs aged 35 to 54. In a press statement on Wednesday, SPH Radio says the station's emerging base of loyal listeners is a clear indication that audiences are turning to Money FM 89.3 as their trusted source for business and personal finance updates.

UFM100.3 came in second in its core audience time spent listening at nine hours and 26 minutes weekly. Among the Chinese radio stations surveyed by Nielsen, UFM100.3 listeners have the highest household and personal median incomes at S$6,379 and S$3,272 respectively.

The survey also reflected a 13 per cent increase in overall listenership for Chinese radio station 96.3 Hao FM, which registered the highest growth in core audience time spent listening. On average, listeners tuned in one hour and 56 minutes longer each week.

In a separate study involving more than 2,000 respondents and conducted in October by independent local consumer insights company Milieu Insights, Kiss92 was named the most-liked station in Singapore, while Money FM 89.3 retained its top spot with its influence on purchasing decisions at 65 per cent.

Both surveys by Nielsen and Milieu suggested radio as a key media channel during the pandemic, with Nielsen reporting a 1.7 per cent increase in audience share. Some 74 per cent of respondents for the Milieu study agreed they had been listening to the radio more often after the Covid-19 situation escalated earlier this year.

SPH Radio stations' podcast downloads went up by almost twofold during this period, highlighting the popularity of podcasts as a growing favourite audio format. The healthy average monthly growth in downloads of 37 per cent were largely driven by MONEY FM 89.3 podcasts and 96.3 Hao FM podcasts at 162 per cent and 106 per cent respectively.

App and Web streamers continued to be well-received among listeners. Data from Triton Digital showed that SPH Radio saw an overall digital streaming growth during the second half of 2020, led by 96.3 Hao FM and MONEY FM 89.3 at 20 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

SPH Radio's general manager, Mr Sim Hong Huat, said he found the survey results "encouraging", and that he was "pleased with the overall positive results" across the radio network.

"We are very grateful for the support of our fans and partners, and will continue to work hard at delivering better consumer experiences, which include more interactive features in-app in the following months, designed with our listeners in mind for an engaging digital experience," commented Mr Sim.

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