Decline of Identity and Listenership among Local Chinese Radio Stations

Lim Guohao


In today’s technological age and consumer-driven economy, Singapore’s Chinese radio stations are mainly concerned with listenership figures, which predominantly determine their survival and success.

In their race towards attaining greater listenership, these radio stations are gradually losing their identities. Greater uniformity in song features and discussion content are key factors that account for such a trend.

Individual identities of many Chinese radio stations across the region have been declining, especially within Singapore. A predominant factor behind this trend lies in the declining number of the target audience, specifically those below the age of 35. This is due to the growing popularity of alternative forms of entertainment, such as online radio channels, social media platforms (eg. Facebook, Twitter) and online broadcasting avenues (eg. YouTube, DailyMotion).

As a result, many local radio stations are now aiming to attract greater numbers of middle-aged (35-59 years old) listeners, in addition to their pre-existing group of core target listeners. As most of the middle-aged in Singapore have greater purchasing power, they could help boost the radio station’s appeal towards various advertisers.

However, such ‘strategy’ adopted by these radio stations might provoke a backlash as more high quality and niche radio programmes, targeted towards a smaller group of audience, is being demolished.

For instance, the once-popular jazz radio show UrbanNite on UFM100.3 was terminated due to the relatively lower commercial revenue that it generated, as compared to other programmes for the general audience.

Another example would be a local paid radio service, Rediffusion. Offering unique and alternative radio programmes, it had once reached its peak with an impressive number of 120,000 paid subscribers in the 1980s.

Traditional storytelling programmes, hosted by ex-local radio veterans Lee Dai Soh (or Li Da Sha) and Wang Dao, were extremely popular on Rediffusion. However, as time passed, listenership began to decline and this led to the closing down of the historic cable radio service in 2012. It was announced in December 2012 that a new form of Rediffusion would be launched, with an array of radio shows that would appeal more to general public preferences.

Instead of cultivating a radio listening culture among the younger generation, the radio industry is focusing on retaining its older listeners. Songs broadcasted are those from the 1980s to 2010, with many repetitions of singers such as Aaron Kwok, Daniel Chan and Julie Su (more commonly known as Su Rui). Additionally, the content of news discussed is centred on entertainment, family and relationship issues.

Such moves could be unfavourable for the local Chinese radio industry. Young listeners below the age of 35 might be disinterested in Chinese radio stations if programme contents do not appeal to them.

They might also have difficulty in identifying the radio stations. In the next 20 years, without the existing group of older listeners, local radio industry might face serious survival problems. A major re-adjustment of programme contents would have to be carried out so as to suit the preferences of the new batch of audience.

It is extremely important to cultivate a more appealing radio environment to the younger generation as well. It is also crucial for each radio station to constantly create new ideas and concepts and to develop a unique identity, instead of accommodating to the needs of advertisers or focusing on listenership figures. This provides a greater variety of choices and attracts listeners of different age groups.


林国豪 整理





建议举办更多“户外开讲” 让听众参与播音


调查:本地广播听众“老龄化” 节目项目 “碎片化”

林国豪 整理

Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 2.22.49 PM

本地展开的 “民众通讯使用与习惯 (Selected Primary Internet Activities by Age Group – Communication Activities)” 的报告中显示,逾百70%的年轻人(15-24岁)和约53%的成人听众(2534岁)几乎每天都会上网接收海外影音内容。

其中, 超过百分之82的年轻人(15-24岁)和约42%的成人听众(25-34岁)会利用手机应用程序阅听网上影音内容。面对网上多元与广泛的内容,加上电台内容匮乏,本地电台正面临年轻受众急速流失的困境。


尼尔森近期公布的 “民众广播收听习惯调查” (Nielsen’s Radio Diary Survey) 更显示,本地电台听众持续收听的时长整体明显下降,主要是因为年轻受众大量流失,加上大部分的中年听众(35-50岁)还是以车载调频收音机(in-car tune in radio)收听广播,并以早上7点至9点,和傍晚5点30分至7点为收听巅峰。


调查:本地华语电台内容重复   缺乏独特性

林国豪 整理

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据笔者的抽样调查,本地各大电台的主要新闻出处为(一)ETTODAY新闻云 (、(二)NOWNEWS (、(三)香港am730(、(四)台湾苹果日报(、(五)香港苹果日报(、(六)台湾自由时报(、(七)雅虎台湾(、(八)薯条藤(、(九)MSN台湾(、(十)联合早报网 ( 以及(十一)8视界 (。