2015 CRM 18th Annual General Meeting
Friday, May 22, 2015
Macomm Management Services – Conference Room
Council Members and Members of CRM,
I extend to you a very warm welcome at this yearly event – the EIGHTEENTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Commercial Radio Malaysia. Thank you for taking time from your busy work schedule to attend the AGM.
My association with CRM began more than a decade ago when Encik Abdul Aziz Hamdam of Radio Lebuhraya was President of MACRO in 2001. In 2008 I served as a CRM Council Member and at the May 17, 2013 AGM, Tuan Hj Bakhtiar Hj Arshad of Suara Johor CRM proposed and was seconded by Encik Yusry Abu Samah of Rimakmur (then) as the President of CRM. Hence my association with CRM has been a salubrious experience. I continue to enjoy tremendously the opportunities to interact and work together with the member stations under the CRM platform, as well as making a priority the continued viability of the commercial radio industry remains a dynamic one.
I would like to now highlight and share with you the key activities of the Association since the last AGM. The Council met 6 times in 2014 (as of May 2014).
In highlighting CRM’s milestones in the past year, have noted that radio advertising contracted slightly from RM469m in 2013 to RM461 million in 2014 according to Nielsen Malaysia. It was nevertheless a respectable outcome in a generally adverse advertising environment compounded by the impact of three airline disasters and a tragic flood situation in the East Coast. 2014 constituted a small blip in what had been a robust growth period for radio advertising, which recorded a two-and-a-half fold growth over a nine-year span.
Malaysia though in population is smaller than some of our neighbours have a vibrant commercial radio industry, with differing formats in various languages targeting specific demographics in both Peninsula Malaysia as well as Sabah and Sarawak. Various audience measurement researches show that a majority of Malaysians tune in to commercial radio and still depend on radio as a source of information, news and entertainment. The fact that the radio industry in Malaysia is enthusiastic in evolving and reaching its audiences on multiple platforms simultaneously has played a major part in our growing reach in Malaysia.
This past year has been particularly challenging as CRM members worked overtime to provide listeners with news updates during the floods in the East Coast and when the three airline disasters happened. Public trust had to be earned, and hence all our members worked diligently to provide factual news as the nation grappled with these tragedies.
The theme agreed for the 2014 PLANET RADIO was “Radio or Not?” The objectives are to educate and attract young talent towards the radio industry for sustainable growth amidst rising competition.
Both IKIM and Suara Johor declined to take the lead to organize the PLANET RADIO due to shortage of staff manpower. Encik Faisal Khalil, Director of Marketing was nominated by SRG to head the Organizing Committee to plan and execute the PLANET RADIO 2014. A representative from MPRN/ASTRO/LAUREATE was nominated to the Organizing Committee in July whilst the first meeting was held on August 12, 2014. Though several meetings after that had transpired, due to busyness of all OC team members, the event to be held in MMU, Melaka on January 17, 2015 were postponed. Planning will resume in late May 2015. TM had verbally agreed to sponsor the event.
MMU was proposed and agreed as the venue, as in the past the events have been held in the North, Central and in East Malaysia and it was time to hold in the Southern region. Another reason being the courses offered at MMU was relevant to the industry such as multimedia subjects e.g. engineering and IT unlike the previous year’s focus was on mass communications subjects.
Thanks to the Honorary Treasurer, Encik Malek Ali for agreeing to once again take charge of organizing the BOOT CAMP. He faced several challenges in terms of speaker availability and manpower to get the project off the ground. It was also noted that it has been a challenge to organize any events the last two years, due to GE and the first and third quarter, planes went missing which impacted everyone’s schedule of events.
After several failed attempts and review of dates and speaker availabilities, the Council decided to enlist Mr. Harmandar Singh of Marketing to once again collaborate with CRM to organize the BOOT CAMP. Discussions and planning are underway.
I agree with Encik Malek to postpone the BOOT CAMP to ensure its done well and are a success. All members support in terms of participation and promoting the event are encouraged for a good turnout. The BOOT CAMP would be a fund raising event for CRM and hence the numbers in participation was crucial.
Royalty Payment (RPM/PRISM)
As members are aware, two issues are currently ongoing relating to royalties of music played on radio stations. The first concerns the choice of licensing fee collection body and the latter to decide on the licensing fee tariff. An ongoing litigation between MACP, PPM and PRISM has created bad press not just for current licensing bodies and royalty collection agencies but also hotels, shopping malls and retail outlets.
PPM severed ties with PRISM in 2011 and since 2012 CRM members have not received invoices. Subsequently RPM with foreign representation was set up with the intention to follow best practices from Europe chaired by Dato’ Shelia Majid. PRISM Sdn Bhd then followed in the path of RPM’s model and formed a new body referred as PRISM Bhd.
In 2012 the government introduced regulations to regulate the licensing bodies owing to complaints received from artists. This required the licensing bodies to apply to MyIPO in order to legally operate in Malaysia. For the record, MACP, PPM and RPM were all issued certificates by MyIPO that accorded them the license to operate. In 2014 PRISM Sdn Bhd was issued a license by MyIPO as well. This then created confusion in the marketplace as RPM and PRISM Sdn Bhd issued different tariffs, some for the same artists, and had two different collectors.
In April 2014, CRM members sought clarification on the difference between PRISM Sdn Bhd and RPM and the collecting body that members are required to pay to.
On August 22, 2014, CRM accepted PRISM Sdn Bhd’s request to meet the Council. The outcome basically confirmed that MyIPO had issued two licenses for collection of royalties in respect of musicians and artistes. The meeting concluded that both parties should be compelled to settle the matter so CRM can pay one body. This issue escalated towards the end of 2014 with affected associations representing hotels, budget hotels, retailers and shopping malls combining resources and driving a consistent message – that there should only be one collecting body and equal tariffs from both parties said to represent artists’ interests in the matter.
After many months of meetings, discussions and official letters sent to various licensing boards and regulators and ministries, with myself representing CRM and its members and in my absence, Puan Tanty Dayana, I am pleased to report from a meeting held on Monday May 11th among all in the USER group facilitated by ACCCIM, was that MyIPO informed all associations affected by this that RPM and PRISM have at last met halfway to establish an agreement that they will work together with the objective of finding one collecting body for both, which was what everyone has been suggesting from Day One. A resolution was expected by the end of June 2015.
Music Authors’ Copyright Protection (MACP) and PPM
CRM had agreed to pay both MACP towards license users of music and PPM for public performances and ground events.
Currently CRM membership stands at 22 radio stations the highest ever thus far comprising:
National (15 stations)
Fly FM/Hot FM/One FM/Hitz FM/Mix FM/Era FM/Lite FM/MY FM/Sinar FM/THR Raaga/Melody FM/Suria FM/RED FM/988 FM/IKIM FM
Regional (7 stations)
BFM/Capital FM/Cats FM/Best FM/Pi Mai FM/Ultra FM/THR Gegar
Membership was important and concerted efforts are made to extend invitations to companies or related to the radio broadcasting business to join CRM. Many have mushroomed but yet to join CRM. As we have to maintain the highest standards of professional practice, we must ensure that all operators in the business safeguard the environment that we operate in.
Annual General Meeting (May 21, 2014)
The CRM Council agreed at an EGM in 2014 that the election of the CRM council be revised to once every 2 years to allow sufficient time to complete projects undertaken. Hence the next election will be held in year 2016.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
I am pleased that meetings with MCMC have been cordial and CRM has actively participated in dialogues with the various Ministries on broadcasting and related issues. Recently CRM sent congratulatory letters to the MCMC Chairman, Y.B. Datuk Seri Dr. Halim Shafie and the KSU, Y.B. Datuk Seri Dr. Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad on assuming their respective new positions to build closer ties with both government agencies.
MCMC Feasibility Study
CRM continues to pursue MCMC who had promised to provide an update on their feasibility study on bilingual stations versus unilingual stations. The study, originally to be completed in April 2015, is still pending. CRM awaits the results of this study anxiously as there are still members with bilingual license conditions, disrupting their commercial viability to advertisers and not able to have focused formats in one language, hence complicating the content creation process, and also disallowing these stations from focusing on listener growth from their target demographics.
Content Forum (CMCF)
CMCF acknowledged the fact that CRM was an influential player in the media and entertainment industry and its contributions are essential at the pre-policy and post policy monitoring and execution levels. The Council was most pleased with CMCF for extending a permanent seat to CRM on their Council in the Broadcasters’ Category with Cik Mediha Mahmood chairing the Broadcast Committee.
Puan Tanty Dayana Asnawi was nominated to represent CRM as an alternate to the Chairman to ensure that commercial radio’s interest are preserved, especially since all broadcasters are to observe and be accountable in the area of self-regulation as set out in the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998.
CRM continues to work with CMCF on establishing guidelines on the sponsorship of campaigns and features by gaming and alcohol companies. CMCF was also currently creating a set of guidelines to address the grey areas of the Content Code with regards to slimming advertisements guidelines. A legal committee working group chaired by Cik Mediha Mahmood has been set up by CMCF to address the various concerns relating to slimming products of which the CRM President and Puan Tanty as an alternate are represented at each meeting.
Radio Hall of Fame
Previous generations of Malaysians, and current generations of Malaysians, have always depended on radio, either for entertainment, information, education, awareness or self-development. It is high time that we pay tribute to those before us, who have contributed to the development of radio in Malaysia, be they voices that we grew up with, or the content creators and aggregators and loyal supporters of radio that enabled Malaysia to proudly have the dynamic commercial radio industry we are part of today. I am proud to announce that CRM and its members have agreed to the creation of THE RADIO HALL OF FAME, and we hope to be able to induct its very first members by the end of 2015.
Exclusive Airplay Agreement
A letter and agreement signed by all CRM members dated March 26 2015 was sent to all record label companies and Recording Industry Association of Malaysia (RIM) to inform that the CRM Council had unanimously agreed in 2011 and again this year 2015 that there will be no exclusivity for a song airplay on any radio station. Record labels were requested to not have exclusivity of singles or songs by any artists on any CRM member stations, to ensure that all artists’ works are readily available at the same time to all and that all songs will be shared to all radio stations for equal airplay.
A media get together was held at the PLOY on September 25, 2014. Waves PR organized the press invite list but sadly not an encouraging turnout from the media and also members of the Council. The annual media get together was attended by representatives from the New Straits Times Press, Makkal Osai, The Star and Malaysian Indian Business and 4 from TM Enterprise Executive Vice President Wan Ahmad Kamal, Assistant General Manager of Broadcast and Media Afix Abdullah, Media Management and Group Marketing Manager Khairun Hafinaz and Assistant General Manager Rohanah Jusin. CRM was represented by the President, Kudsia Kahar, Hon Treasurer, Encik Malek Ali, Puan Hawa Abdul Hamid of Copyright Laureate, Mr. Jeffrey Raymond of Astro Radio, Ms Nisha Sundrum, Star Radio Group and Encik Faisal Khalil of SRG. The event marks CRM’s appreciation of media support of the radio industry and an evening to interact with the media and TM staff.
Media mileage was received for the event and interaction with TM staff received positive support for the upcoming PLANET RADIO and BOOT CAMP. Encik Wan Ahmad Kamal requested that CRM set an appointment to present the proposal. This will be done once the details for both events have been confirmed by June 2015.
World Radio Day
CRM had previously launched World Radio Day on September 2009 but in 2012 agreed to celebrate instead on February 13 of each year as sanctioned globally by the United Nations (UN). Though a print ad was put up some years back, it was argued that it was too costly instead a digital platform was suggested to be cheaper and more accessible to the youths of today who were digitally connected. This year 2015, member stations organized their own programs under their respective platforms citing CRM in their promos.
I thank all members for making this effort to commemorate this special day for the industry that we are so passionately involved with.
Discussion on the CRM website development began in September 2013. Three vendors pitched for the development and management of the website and Amphibia Digital was selected. After much discussion, actual work on the development began in September 2014.
I would like to thank Puan Anida Tahrim of Media Prima Radio Networks who enlisted her staff Mr. Alex Poon and Mr. Ben Jern with IT technical knowledge in October 2014 and together with the Secretariat met with Amphibia Digital development team to discuss the CMS and website format that would be appropriate for the website. Amphibia Digital presented the first mockup of the website at the November 2014 meeting. Amphibia Digital was also enlisted to develop the videos to showcase the breadth of career opportunities in radio.
I also thank The Star Radio Group for availing their premises for free as the venue for the video shoot on December 2014 to members of CRM. Members who had video teams of their own had created and developed their own videos and submitted them to Amphibia Digital who had the monumental task of professionally editing over one hours’ worth of video.
To maintain a professional look and feel to CRM’s website also required the services of a professional writer whose task was to tell not just radio’s story, but CRM’s story, from its inception as MACRO’s (Malaysian Association of Commercial Radio) each milestone.
A huge thank you to the Secretariat, who painstakingly coordinated and researched all multiple content pieces, pictures and facts from various sources to the webmaster. I wish to also thank all the members for their cooperation in providing their respective company contents/logos as well as their most valuable feedback, in creating CRM’s official website. This website is not mere bragging rights for CRM and its members, it is the home of Malaysian radio.
Last but not least, a big thank you to Waves PR for tirelessly hunting down all available past articles for the site, and in assisting in areas where we needed help.
Ladies and gentlemen, members of the Council – On behalf of all office bearers and all members, I am so proud to announce the launch of the CRM website today – it is my hope that you will be able to also carry the URL proudly on your calling cards, to further promote this as a platform where we can also harness the future talents, movers and shakers of Malaysian radio.
It has been months of hard work as investment, and I wish to thank each and every member in making themselves as well as feedback, ideas and contributions available to us in this process. A lot of time and effort has been spent to create this website. This is an important achievement and milestone for CRM. We made every decision as one body, with views and suggestions from every single member taken into account. Your generosity in time and involvement in this process is much appreciated.
The Council agreed to the consultancy (Waves PR) achieving PR value in 2014 at RM1 million with a percentage ratio of 70% publicity gained via traditional media and 30% gained via social media, with the same monthly PR service fee renewed for 2015. This can only be achieved with members playing an active role in suggesting story ideas and availing themselves for interviews as and when required. Therefore members are encouraged to participate actively in the promotion and marketing of their respective stations through CRM platform and raising the profile of radio in the country.
For the full year from March 2014 to March 2015, media coverage for CRM was evenly spread out with at least three stories leading the pack.
The news release on Pi Mai, Ultra FM joining CRM elicited strong media support with coverage from the key English language newspapers and the trades. Consultancy reports that the re-election of CRM President Kudsia Kahar received the widest coverage from the English and Bahasa Malaysia newspapers, and the trades. The news release on the growth of regional stations also drew reasonable media traction.
Among the online trades, Asia Radio Today, Marketing, Rakyat Post and Adobo were the top draws. Consultancy’s mandates for the new term are to extend its online media reach. MSN Malaysia, in particular, was a non-starter, with the editorial team showing no interest about the radio industry.
The Star remained the primary source of information about the radio industry among the mainstream media, followed by New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia, Malay Mail and Sinar Harian. There was literally no support from the Chinese language newspapers.
Consultancy aims to engage the Chinese language media and broaden its reach with magazines and periodicals to ensure that news about the radio industry reaches the broadest cross-section of Malaysians.
From an editorial perspective, the term’s best stories were those published in The Heat (now defunct) – “The solid state of Malaysian radio; The Peak – “Catalyst for change”; and Focus Malaysia – “Riding the airwaves”.
Up to 3 March 2015, the media value was pegged at RM1,144,755.
Marketing and Promotions
Is an important component of CRM to raise the profile of CRM. Council set up the first ever Marketing and Promotions Working committee comprising representatives appointed by council members from their respective companies, Puan Fara Aida Dahlan – Head, Network Brand and Promotions, Media Prima; Encik Faisal Khalil, GM, Marketing, SRG and Encik Nizam Sani, Head, Marketing, Astro Radio. Their task was to shortlist and interview potential agencies to design the print ads and creative promos to market the various CRM events and to recommend the best creative and affordable agency to the council for final decision and selection.
This whole exercise was to have a more structured and planned calendar for the year to ensure the events take off on a timely basis and that the event was extensively marketed and promoted.
The Accumulated Fund of the Association as at 31.12.2014 was RM434,517.00. The Association incurred a Deficit of Income over Expenditure after Taxation of RM24,047.00 for the financial year ended 31.12.2014. Thanks to members for setting their subscription dues promptly as this was the primary source of funds of any association.
The Associations’ finances had been prudently controlled and with the dedicated attention of the Honorary Treasurer, Encik Malek Ali, we were able to keep the finances in good standing thus far. The deficit is not substantial; at that deficit level, current funds are more than enough to cover 18 years of deficits. Nevertheless, in the next financial year, CRM hopes to organise activities that will generate a surplus over expenditure.
I wish to thank Ms. Kala Kovan for her expertise in facilitating CRM at meetings and coordinating the various activities and tasks on a timely basis, to Mr. Mathews Jacob his insightful advice to CRM and to the finance team for the management of CRM accounts. CRM was most pleased to approve a 10% monthly increase in secretariat professional fees.
Personally, I am extremely appreciative of our diligent Council Members and give credit for their dedication and generosity in attending the monthly council meetings and accomplishing the various task assigned to them in the smooth running of the Association’s affairs. The website development was a major project and their support in providing the contents and information on a timely basis helped the Council achieve its success.
Thanks to all the partners in the industry, MSA, 4As, MAA and CMCF for their support and trust, as without their participation and continued feedback, CRM would not have moved forward.
Though it has been a very challenging year for all of us at the Council, it surely has been rewarding. The accomplishments are worth every minute spent for the advancement of the industry especially the CRM website showcases all of CRM’s activities thus far and is an achievement we should be proud of. I welcome each one of you to take a lead of the various activities of CRM and share the journey to leave your legacy in the industry.
In closing, I believe CRM has surely evolved providing us with an excellent platform to develop the radio industry. Let’s celebrate its achievements and extraordinary journey the last one year.
Thank you all and look forward to continuing the journey with you as your President.
Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM)