Millions turned on by more radio choice

POLITICAL turbulence and changing lifestyles have seen radio listenership increase by 20 per cent in the last year, according to a new survey.

The latest results of the second joint radio survey showed about four million, or 76 per cent of Hong Kong people, were listening to the radio.

That is up 20 per cent on last year's figures. The survey also found listeners were tuning in for an average of 17 hours per week, up 10 per cent from last year.

The results were based on a survey of 1,956 people conducted at the end of August by Survey Research Hong Kong.

Metro's managing director, Craig Quick, said radio's increasing audiences were attracted to the wide variation of programmes now available. He said competition between radio stations for higher ratings and market share was creating more entertaining programmes.

'Radio now caters to a wider range of people in Hong Kong than it ever has before. Variety is bringing the listeners back.' The vice-chairman of the media sub-committee for the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As), Chan Tin-shing, agreed more choices in programming were bringing people back to radio.

'Previously many people just listened to radio through the day before turning on the TV at night. But now I think we're seeing a change in lifestyle because many are tuning into night-time radio shows instead.

RTHK's head of English programming, Jagjit Dillon, said audiences concerned with the territory's handover in 1997 were also listening to radio more to keeping up with political and current affairs.

The diary poll organised by RTHK, Metro Broadcast and the 4As, also revealed Metro Broadcast was the fastest growing radio group with an audience increase of 53 per cent over the last year.