Global Media Intelligence 2021: Malaysia

Noteworthy in 2021

Broadcast TV, radio, and print have maintained substantial audiences, though time spent with digital alternatives is greater.

  • The share of internet users ages 16 to 64 in Malaysia who watched live TV in the month prior to polling rose very minimally between 2020 and 2021, from 79.9% to 80.2%. It saw a very slight decrease in time spent per day, however, to 1 hour, 45 minutes (1:45). Adults ages 25 to 34 registered the highest penetration at 87.8%.
  • Many internet users still regularly watch TV channels’ catch-up or on-demand services; that share rose from 64.2% to 66.8% year over year (YoY), while the share viewing prerecorded TV shows was near 60%. Additionally, penetration of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services like Netflix leapt by almost 10 percentage points, to 66.1%, and the share of smart TV owners grew to 36.7%.
  • In total, 94.2% of internet users had streamed video content in the month prior, including paid and unpaid services. For the first time, GWI included YouTube in this category, which probably raised the response rate. Digital video viewing was most common among internet users ages 16 to 34. Online TV and video streaming accounted for an estimated 1:24 per day, an increase of 11 minutes since H1 2020.
  • Seven in 10 internet users listened to broadcast radio in Q1 2021, spending an average 55 minutes each day. Digital audio usage was higher, at 74.6%, and claimed more time as well, at 1:34 daily.
  • Just more than half (50.6%) of internet users polled in Malaysia in Q1 of this year had read a print newspaper in the prior month, while 42.4% had read a print magazine. Time devoted to print publications continued to lag time spent with online press, at 36 minutes and 52 minutes daily, respectively.
  • Fully 98.0% of respondents said they had recently visited social platforms, and 99.0% had used messaging services. Taken together, social networking and messaging—occupying an estimated 3:01 per day—were a major contributor to digital time overall.


Karin von Abrams


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