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Radio in Malaysia witnessing a regional boom

Radio in Malaysia is seeing the increased emergence of regional stations that better serve local communities, Asia Radio Today reports.

While radio conglomerates like Astro Radio, Media Prima,and the Star Radio Group continue to extend their footprint across Malaysia, regional radio stations like Best 104, Ultra FM, Pi Mai FM, BFM, IKIM FM, and Cats FM are investing in strengthening their operations.

“It’s all about localisation,” thinks Hawa Abdul Hamid, General Manager of Laureate, which operates Pi Mai FM and Ultra FM. “We address a specific market, celebrate local events, and target advertising to reach specific consumer segments.”

Yusry Abu Samah, CEO of Best 104, agrees that regional radio stations have the ability to target listeners within a precise area of coverage – and also create a unique brand identity.

“We can afford to break away from traditional programming formats with niche and dedicated programming that caters for our audience exclusively.”

Unless it’s a stand-alone radio station – like BFM, Cats FM, and Best 104 – regional radio stations function as uniquely local but aligned to the national station’s brand values. Regional radio stations serve as the eyes and ears of the national radio stations based largely on the business model.

“Regional radio stations adhere to the local dialects and cultural nuances,” says Hawa. “In other words, we create content that’s region-centric.” 

Hawa believes that regional stations can compete against national radio stations by offering affordable advertising packages, promote local events, and provide the region’s news much faster and more thoroughly.

“From our perspective,” Jake Abdullah, CEO of Astro Radio, “regional radio stations complement our national brand proposition and value-add to the community’s needs. We also have the advantage of sharing content, technology, strategic direction, and talent development.”