News portal keeping up with “new media normal’

THE movement control order (MCO) back in March 2020 kept Malaysians all cooped up at home. Having to stay away from the outside world, physically, many have turned to digital to connect to the world or keep themselves occupied.

As a result, there was a rise in internet usage during that period of time. According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), internet usage jumped 23.5% in the first week of the MCO to 32.1% in the second week as many users wanted to stay connected to their families and colleagues as well as for work, study and entertainment.

This has also led to a huge traffic growth for online media outlets as Malaysians flocked to new portals for information and keeping abreast with what is happening in the country especially regarding political situation in Malaysia and news on COVID-19 as well as global news. 

A study by the Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) and SimilarWeb showed desktop and mobile web traffic surged between 190% and 250% during the third week of March for eight key publisher platforms.

Meanwhile, Entropia (M) Sdn Bhd’s recent study among Malaysians to assess the impact of the ‘new normal’ on their media consumption activities found some notable shifts in media habits during Malaysia’s MCO include a marked increase in social media usage; and higher TV viewership among all participants, owing to the credibility of news from this medium.

According to Entropia, a marketing consulting firm, social distancing, quarantine and working from home have affected media consumption habits permanently. The recent study by Entropia was conducted among 300 randomly selected adults across different age, gender and race segments in Malaysia’s Klang Valley.

Younger respondents on the other hand, prefer spending time on streaming and video platforms like Netflix and YouTube. The older demographic saw an increase in radio consumption and time spent on news channels. Other findings reflect differences in media preference according to race groups in the country.

“As people around the world sought to remain updated on the rapidly changing crisis, consumers’ reliance on media also increased, resulting in a more captive audience,” commented Entropia partner for integrated media Syahar Khalid.

“Here’s where media companies and advertisers can benefit most – the opportunity to leverage this enhanced engagement, grow their subscriber base, and expand their reach.”

Moving forward, Entropia opined that media strategy will require retaining consumers’ attention where they’re most likely to spend their time – be it for leisure, career, education or wellness.

“The Malaysian Government has just announced MCO 2.0 and with it, brands (companies) in some categories will again face challenges owing to adverse market forces,” Syahar added.

“Some have already made significant moves towards continued investment in advertising, and we hope this study will provide some clarity on the media channels appealing to their specific target audiences.” – Jan 15, 2021

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE