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Record numbers tuning in to SPH Radio stations; 96.3 FM and Money FM beat expectations

SINGAPORE Press Holdings said its five radio stations reached their biggest audience in the first half of 2018, as its two new additions - Money FM 89.3 and 96.3 FM - drew many thousands more listeners.

More than 600,000 people tuned in digitally to at least one of the media giant's radio stations in May 2018, through either the SPH Radio app or website. This represents a rise of more than 40 per cent from December 2017, a month before SPH launched Chinese station 96.3 FM and Money FM to add to its three existing ones: Kiss92, UFM1003 and One FM 91.3.

SPH's radio stations also attracted the most engaged audiences, with Kiss92 and One FM emerging tops in total time spent listening, according to the results of a separate radio survey released by Nielsen on Thursday. Listeners tuned in to Kiss92 and One FM for an average of five hours 41 minutes and five hours 40 minutes respectively during the survey period of March 19 and May 13, compared to the average of four hours 21 minutes for English stations.

96.3 FM debuted in the Nielsen study as the Chinese station with the second-longest time spent listening. Audiences spent 11 hours five minutes tuned in during the survey period, compared to the average of nine hours 56 minutes for Chinese stations. The Chinese station with the longest time spent listening was Mediacorp's Capital 958.

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96.3 FM and Money FM both surpassed expectations in their first five months of operations, said SPH. 96.3 FM, which was launched on Jan 8, 2018, reached well over 110,000 digital listeners in May 2018. 

Money FM reached more than 50,000 digital listeners upon its debut. Singapore's first and only business and personal finance radio station in English was launched on Jan 29.

As for SPH's existing stations, even with the launch of 96.3 FM, Chinese station UFM1003's digital listeners grew by 20 per cent between December 2017 and May 2018 to reach 230,000, making it SPH Radio's most popular station digitally.

UFM100.3's U1000 Music Countdown in April 2018 had 270,000 listeners tuning in digitally that month, with nearly 4,000 fans gathering at the live countdown event in Chinatown Point.

The digital listenership of Kiss92 remained stable in the same period, while One FM's digital audience grew 15 per cent.

One FM - best known for its morning show, Glenn and The Flying Dutchman - also saw its share of listenership double in the first half of the year from last year, bucking the trend among English stations, according to the Nielsen survey.

In the Nielsen survey, which tracks both traditional and digital listenership, Kiss92 emerged as the second-most listened-to English station and the fifth overall, attracting 579,000 listeners a week. The four stations with the largest listenership were Mediacorp's Chinese stations Love 972, Yes 933, Capital 958, which came in first, second and fourth respectively; and its English station Class 95, coming in third.

Sim Hong Huat, SPH Radio's general manager, said: "We are delighted with the overall results across all five radio stations and I am glad to have been receiving positive feedback on the two new stations, Money FM 89.3 and 96.3 FM. This is the result of our fans and our partners who believe in the power of SPH Radio, without which our achievements will not be possible. 

"We will continue to provide the best entertainment to our fans and you can definitely look forward to many new exciting things from the SPH Radio team."

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