Radio is the second most used and most trusted source of political information in the Philippines. In 2013, roughly two-thirds of the country’s population listens to radio, with 41.4 percent listening at least once a week, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. It also remains to be the most pervasive medium, reaching even the remotest areas of the country.
People tune in to FM rather than AM radio almost 90 percent of the time. FM stations focus primarily on music for content while AM stations offer news, public affairs, public service, soap opera and talk shows. As of June 2016, there are 416 AM stations and 1,042 FM stations nationwide, including those whose applications are still pending, based on data from the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC).
Concentration in the AM radio market
Concentration in the AM radio market is high, with dominant media conglomerates ABS-CBN Corporation and GMA Network being the top players, as in television. According to Nielsen’s Radio Audience Measurement data from January to June 2016, ABS-CBN’s radio station, DZMM 630, has a selected audience share of 24.9 percent while GMA’s DZBB 594 has 22.3 percent. Interestingly, the government’s radio station, DZRB 738, tied with DZBB in second place. Meanwhile, Manila Broadcasting Company’s (MBC) DZRH 666 ranked fourth, with 15 percent selected audience share. Taken together, these four stations have a total selected audience share of 83.5 percent.
While DZRH 666 ranks only fourth in popularity, MBC's lead AM station has the widest geographic reach as it is linked to a satellite. It can cover as much as 97 percent of the country with its signal through several relay stations. MBC has another 19 AM and 142 FM stations nationwide. Meanwhile, Radio Mindanao Network, another broadcast network, has 20 AM and 24 FM stations.
Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (2013), PSA
The Philippine Trust Index. Executive Summary (2015), EON
Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, Jan- Aug 2016 (2016), Nielsen Philippines