SPH launched the first business and finance focused radio station in Singapore, Money FM 89.3, on Monday, 29 January. I mean, like finally. Why it took this long for something like that to exist in Singapore befuddles me to no end.
I’ve been listening in daily since launch, so here’s some of my first impressions.
Each day is split into 4 segments of 2 – 4 hours each on weekdays, and 1 segment of 5 hours on weekends. Outside of these hours, I assume they play generic music? Or is it dead silence?
The Morning Huddle covers overnight news from the US and previous day, while bringing in experts to comment on news and other topics.
Midday covers SME related challenges and property issues and their associated guest speakers.
Prime Time covers fashion and hipster themes. (which is strange to me, perhaps it’s professional image / general information? )
The Curve summarises the day’s news and market movements while looking ahead to the US market open.
I’ve been listening on and off from 8am to 6pm daily instead of my usual music playlist or podcasts as I go about my day’s work. I did not find anything too revolutionary, topics covered were relatively basic – personal finance basics, portfolio management, insurance considerations, etc. They rely heavily on external experts for market outlooks and updates. They also have some relatively high profile guests like former parliamentarian Inderjit Singh and Singapore Life CEO Walter de Oude. News updates were frequent and business / finance focused.
I was surprised at the level of reliance on BBC content the station utilizes to fill in some sections of air time. I’ve heard snippets from the 50 Things that made the Modern Economy by Tim Harford and there were entire special reports done by BBC Radio that were played on air. The BBC content was fascinating though, especially the 50 Things snippets, but I hope to see more original content in the future.
On a personal level, I was slightly disappointed as I’ve been looking for the longest time for a media outlet that discusses Singapore business news and stocks in a professional and in depth manner like the US CNBC team where they talk about fundamentals, technicals and make stock recommendations. But obviously this wasn’t the aim of the station in the first place, so my search goes on.
As the station was set up to target audiences 35 years and older, it’s choice of music was correspondingly dated, I assume mainly from the 80s and before. The 35 years and older audience choice was interesting to me. From a personal finance standpoint, these habits should be inculcated from the day you start work in your 20s. Also, most individuals would also need more assistance starting out and navigating the personal finance minefield. Maybe SPH had taken a market survey and determined that most people become financially aware from 35?
Sidepoint: I find it hilarious that certain DJs embrace the finance perspective to the extent that they announce the singer’s net worth as part of the song introduction. Who knew Coldplay Frontman Chris Martin was worth $140m?
Overall, I think it is a good thing that personal finance and financial literacy has yet another proponent spreading awareness. Money FM 89.3 is a friendly and easy beginner’s choice if they want to learn about personal finance while listening to predominantly 80s / jazz tunes (if that’s your jam). Everyone younger though, it might be better to stick to finance blogs. I sincerely hope they will build up their own original content and segments as well.
Here’s an idea for you guys at SPH – do a Singapore version of Mad Money.
Now that’s something I’ll listen to everyday.
PS This is not a sponsored post. However, SPH, if you wish to partner with me, I very much welcome it 😛