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Money FM marks its first birthday with 60% surge in listenership

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Talk stations require large amounts of fresh content every day, and Money FM works closely with BT and The Straits Times to achieve it.

Singapore

MONEY FM 89.3, Singapore's first and only business and personal finance English radio station, turns one today, celebrating a year marked with challenges as well as proud moments for the team.

From successfully covering Budget 2018 just weeks after its launch on Jan 29, 2018, to achieving 60 per cent listenership growth within the second half of last year, the SPH Radio station has proven its doubters wrong and shown that it is here to stay.

"A lot of people doubted our ability to do a station like that, because we have always been an entertainment company," Sim Hong Huat, SPH Radio's general manager, recalled.

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A subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Business Times, SPH Radio operates other popular radio stations such as Kiss92 and One FM 91.3.

And with February's Budget 2018, the biggest event on Singapore's financial calendar, as its first major project, there was a lot on the line for Money FM.

"We managed to pull it off and did a very good panel discussion and other programming around the Budget," said Mr Sim. "That's something we're all very proud of."

The idea to start a business radio station was no impulse as SPH Radio had identified the need for such a station as early as 2010. However, it was awarded a broadcast frequency only in March 2017 and given just nine months to form its team of presenters, conceptualise the new programming format and build the needed infrastructure.

Unlike music stations which broadcast existing content, talk stations require large amounts of fresh content every day, and Money FM works closely with BT and The Straits Times to achieve this. Presenters must also have broad-based knowledge of financial topics to facilitate interviews with CEOs, analysts, thought leaders and politicians.

Money FM executive editor Ven Sreenivasan said that as a station that "informs, educates and entertains", Money FM targets primarily PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen) and anyone with an interest in investing and managing finances. It also intersperses business news with lifestyle content to keep things fresh.

"Thus far, we have received only positive feedback on the quality of the content," said Mr Sim, adding that he hopes to grow listenership by at least 30 per cent year-on-year for the next three to five years.

"We have been successful in reaching out particularly to our core listeners the PMEBs, and the feedback that we get is that the market likes what we're putting out there," said Mr Sreenivasan.

"We hope to keep improving on this in the year to come."