The Future of the Radio Industry

By Dania Aziz

Running a radio station takes more than just having a good radio host. With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Nazri Noran, CEO of Media Prima Audio, talks about how he leads his team to modernise this influential piece of technology.

Nazri Noran initially started his career in the entertainment industry as a band member in an independent band. He then worked with record labels and became a personal assistant to local artists. Wanting to get into radio broadcasting, he volunteered to do an internship for local English radio station Hitz FM through well-known media mogul Datuk Jake Abdullah.

Just after two months, he was promoted as a producer and the rest is history. With vast experience in the broadcast and entertainment industry, he is presently the CEO of Media Prima Audio, an Audio Broadcaster Group under Media Prima Berhad.

Being a CEO is not an easy job. Managing a group that represents five broadcast brands, Hot FM, Buletin FM, Fly FM, 8FM and Molek FM, Nazri exploits the guidance of fellow CEO friends to conquer his challenging position. “It’s all about humility. Showing them that I started from the bottom and built myself up just like them has helped me understand and connect with them better,” explains Nazri.

Radio for All
People from different regions have different cultures, lifestyles, tastes and needs in terms of entertainment. Expanding the market segmentation has always been one of the main objectives for Media Prima Audio as an incentive for it to grow.

It recently launched a new radio station, Molek FM, catered to listeners in the East Coast of Malaysia, with radio announcers who speak the lingo of Kelantan and Terengganu. Instead of playing just mainstream songs like any other radio stations, Molek FM incorporates local favourites such as dangdut and dikir barat.

This group also has multiple partnerships and collaborations with radio stations in East Malaysia such as Kupi Kupi FM, the No.1 radio station in Sabah, and City Plus FM, a Chinese business radio station in Malaysia that caters to primary Chinese-speaking PMEBs and SMEs.

No, Radio is Not Dead
Before the rise of social media, radio was the main social medium. It does not just only provide entertainment, introduce listeners to new music and help connect people but also provide factual news, and is one of the first resources for factual news such as traffic and weather reports.

Although digital media seems to be overtaking radio in terms of popularity, it is simply not as trustworthy. Multiple studies have found that more fake news is being spread on social media than real news. “Everybody wants to be a journalist and spreads news. But the question is, are they giving out factual information?” stresses this media enthusiast. As for radio stations, all information given out are based on solid research.

Nevertheless, radio stations are adapting to digital platforms. They utilise social media such as Facebook and Instagram to grow their followers. In fact, one of Media Prima Audio’s radio stations Hot FM is the most-followed account on TikTok for local radio channels with over a million followers.

Media Prima Audio also introduced Audio+, an app that streams all radio, digital and social content from a variety of radio stations, as a mean to keep up with the evolving digital trends. It will also be a podcast-hosting platform where they invite people from all walks of life to discuss various topics. Access to news articles from several news channels is one of the many insightful features to be made available on Audio+.

Digital will continue to evolve. Hence it is necessary for the radio industry to develop to keep pace. “I am ready for everything and anything, and I have to be prepared. My challenge is always about the competition that is not just in the radio business but everything that is out there,” Nazri says.

The radio industry is very fast paced. Being in this industry requires one to constantly be at the top as the trends are always changing. “The thing I love about radio broadcasting is the opportunity to start or restart something from scratch,” claims Nazri.

If you have a passion in content creation and are a continuous learner, the radio industry is the place for you to pursuit the required knowledge and enhance your ability while adapting to the ever-changing work and life demands.

Tune in to the new episode of the GRADUAN Go! Podcast for the full interview.

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