SPH To Get 2 New Radio Stations
Think Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is just a newspaper company? Nah.
As print newspapers become an increasingly less viable business, as evidenced by how SPH’s profits are declining on sliding revenue from its newspapers and magazines, the company has to look to over ways to make money, right?
Well, looks like radio is one of them. SPH Radio has just been awarded frequencies for 2 new radio stations in an open tender, reported Channel NewsAsia. That means it beat out rival Mediacorp.
SPH did not just outbid Mediacorp, but beat out three Mediacorp proposals.
The new stations will be at FM89.3 and FM96.3.
One will be used for a new Chinese radio station for those above 50 that will have Chinese pop and xinyao. It will have content from Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News.
The other will be for PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen) and is intended to educate listeners on financial matters. It will have content from The Straits Times and The Business Times.
So what, you may say? If the stations don’t go to SPH, they will just go to Mediacorp, the other member of the media duopoly in Singapore, so what’s the whole point?
That’s a good point — though there are also independent owners of radio stations (i.e. not SPH or Mediacorp).
What’s significant is that with the 2 new stations, SPH will now have 5 stations out of Singapore’s 20 — one-quarter of the radio pie.
Mediacorp is still the leader of course, with 12 stations, but SPH is encroaching in its territory. SPH’s radio stations have even increased listenership, according to an SPH Radio media release.
SPH’s desperation to get a bigger slice of the radio is ostensibly due to its shrinking slice of the newspaper market — in fact, by using content from its newspapers to boost the two new radio stations, it may be providing a good justification for the papers’ continued existence — and the continued employment of the staff working there.
Translation: Don’t retrench us newspaper staff just yet, we’re also doing work for the radio stations!
Let’s take a look at how Singapore’s radio stations measure up against one another:
|1. Ria 89.7FM||Malay/English||All ages||Pop||Unavailable|
|2. Gold 905FM||English||Seniors||Classic Hits||Unavailable|
|3. Symphony 92.4FM||English||All ages||Classical, Easy Listening||Unavailable|
|4. Y.E.S 93.3FM||Chinese||All ages||Pop||Mediacorp’s No. 2 radio station with 18.5%|
|5. 938 LIVE FM||English||All ages||News, Talk Shows||Unavailable|
|6. Warna 94.2FM||Malay||All ages||Adult Contemporary||Unavailable|
|7. Class 95FM||English||Adults||Adult Contemporary||Highest-rated English station, with 758,000 listeners|
|8. Capital 95.8FM||Chinese||All Ages||Classic Hits, Talk Shows||Mediacorp’s No. 3 radio station with 17.3%|
|9. Oli 96.8FM||Tamil/Hindi||All ages||All music, Talk Shows||Unavailable|
|10. Love 97.2FM||Chinese||Adult||Adult Contemporary||Mediacorp’s Top radio station with 19.4%|
|11. 987FM||English||Youths||Latest Hits||Unavailable|
|12. Lush 99.5FM||English||Youths||Indie music||Unavailable|
|13. ONE FM||English||Youths||Latest Hits||267,000|
|14. Kiss 92FM||English||All Ages||Classic Hits||567,000|
|15. UFM 100.3||Chinese||All Ages||Pop||399,000 cumulative listeners|
|16. FM89.3/FM96.3||English||PMEBs||Financial News||N.A.|
|17. FM89.3/FM96.3||Chinese||Above 50||Pop/Xinyao||N.A.|
|18. 883 JIA FM||Chinese||Seniors||Classic Hits||550,000 cumulative listeners (as of 2014)|
|19. Power 98FM||English||All ages||Hit Songs, Old Songs|
|20. BBC World Service||English||All ages||News, Talk Shows||Unavailable|
Mediacorp’s figures are as of June 2016, while SPH’s figures are as of Dec 1, 2016. Safra Radio’s figure is as of 2014.
What we can glean from this is that SPH may be the undisputed leader in print newspapers and Mediacorp may be tops in TV and Radio, but the lines aren’t as clear as we may think.
Despite its print troubles, SPH is gaining ground in radio, and its property revenue is still rising.
Mediacorp’s TV business, while still popular, is also being threatened by the rising popularity of online streaming TV services with more up-to-date foreign programmes.
Radio: The Next War?
Will radio be the next battleground between eternal local rivals SPH and Mediacorp?
We won’t speculate, but will just bring out the popcorn.
Now that’s entertainment.
Featured image from YouTube