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Aren’t Malaysians Bucking the Newspaper Readership Trend…

It is interesting that Malaysia is the only country in APAC, where newspaper readership is actually growing instead of following the typical trend of declining.OMD Newspaper 1

This uncharacteristic phenomenon is driven by the rapid growth of Bahasa newspapers. Chinese and English newspaper readership has remained stable rather than decline.

Contrary to the popular belief that today’s digital savvy youth are switching from reading hard copy newspapers, in Malaysia it is these digital savvy youth who are at the forefront of the growing newspaper readership!OMD Newspaper 2

This trend has led to the age profile of BM newspapers being younger than English and Chinese newspapers.

When we map the Malaysian newspapers by average reader age and gender we see significant variations in reader profile.

The average reader’s age of most Chinese, Tamil and English newspapers is higher than the average across newspapers.

While both Harian Metro and Kosmo readers are the youngest, the first is female skewed and the latter is male skewed.

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OMD Newspaper 4Harian Metro and Kosmo have grown rapidly over the last 5 years.  The distinctively different content style of each of these newspapers appeals to today’s youth.

Harian Metro’s mix of ‘sensationalised’ news (with an emotional twist), loads of entertainment news (specially on weekends) and the juice on the latest local events and people, make it a favourite particularly with women.

Kosmo has its own brand of ‘sensationalised’ local and entertainment news, in a crisper, snacking size and is targeted to the urban youth mainly  in the central region.

While cynics continue to criticise these new-age newspapers, for now they seem to have cracked the formula to keep the Malaysian love for the newspaper feel alive and burning!

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