Nielsen finds Internet catching up to mainstream media

By: Llew-Ann Phang, Malaysia
Published: Oct 24, 2008

Malaysia – While mainstream media continues to dominate the Malaysian media scene, the internet is fast catching up, according to the Nielsen Media Index.

There was a double growth in internet penetration – reaching two out of 10 people – as compared to five years ago.

The tracking figures prove the internet will become a more integral part of the media mix with its continuous growth in the market, Andrea Douglas, executive director for Nielsen Media Research Malaysia said, citing news websites as an example.

“Malaysians are opting for online news for faster and constant updates, as seen by the 35% growth in online newspaper readership over a year, reaching one million readers,” she said.

However, news seekers have not abandoned print as nine out of 10 readers still consume hard-copy news, she said.

The index indicated a 21% increase in internet users with almost four out of 10 users spending one to two hours on the worldwide web daily.

Among the popular activities were found to be TV/music/games (47%), followed by message/chat/blogging (45%) and reading newspapers or magazines (35%).

From the sample of 10,000 individuals in Peninsular Malaysia aged 15 and above, Nielsen found total TV viewing was still popular with 94% viewership.

Media Prima Bhd’s TV3 free-to-air channel led the way with an outreach of 73%, followed by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (Information Ministry channels).

In the Pay-TV segment, Astro’s Family Package is most popular with seven out of 10 subscribers tuning in to channels in the package.

“A plethora of channels are available for the Malaysian audience with an average of 20 channels received at home, compared to an average of 11 channels five years ago.

“The average number of channels viewed per person has also more than a doubled during the same period,” Douglas said.

Nielsen’s survey which was run between July 2007 and June 2008 uncovered newspapers to be second most popular with a readership of 54%.

The growing readership is being primarily driven by Bahasa Malaysia dailies.

Harian Metro leads the overall newspaper readership and Bahasa Malaysia segment with a reach of 15%, with Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo following as popular Bahasa Malaysia daily reads.

In the English segment, the Star maintained its lead with a readership of 8%, while the New Straits Times and Berjaya Media’s theSun maintained readership at 2%, Malay Mail reached less than 1%.

Sin Chew topped the Chinese vernacular dailies at 8% and Nanban stayed ahead in the Tamil daily segment.

Posad media was also seen to be a popular form of outreach as 64% of the 10,000 polled had visited an outlet with Posad media in the last month.

Nielsen found sound ads and trolley ads to be most effective at 61% and 56%, respectively.

According to the poll, PowerScreen reached 41% of the population in market centres and attracted professionals, managers, executives, businessmen and other white collar workers aged between 20 and 29, and those with high monthly household income.

The latest Nielsen Radio Audience Measurement also found that radio was still the most popular form of message disseminator with its listener-ship reaching out to 92% of the population.

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