Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Radio’s biggest strength and worst enemy: habit

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Typically, when I speak at conferences, I start by pointing out how popular radio is. 9 out of 10 of us listen to the radio in any given week - whether you live in Boston Massachusetts, Boston England, or Boston in South Australia. (Probably. The last one doesn’t have radio statistics, but Brisbane’s 9 out of 10 too.)
 
Podcasting...

13 May 2019

Is the future for AM radio a switch to digital?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

If radio’s audience is getting progressively older, AM radio is partly to blame: in most parts of the world, AM radio is the home of shouty and reactionary talk radio, urgent-sounding 24/7 news broadcasts, sports broadcasters or “oldies” stations - which I always thought were named after the music but increasingly appear to be named after the audience.

 The sound of an AM station is...

06 May 2019

NAB Show highlights a trend away from studio complexes

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I recently went to the NAB Show in Las Vegas - the first time I’d been there for three years or so. I used to stay at The Riviera, a gloriously run down hotel and casino, which had two good things - first, it was a short walk away from the Convention Center, and therefore relatively easy to get to; second, it had an almost acceptable British pub in it, which was a nice home from...

06 May 2019

Cridland survives NAB

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

A busy week last week at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The exhibitors’ floors were massive, noisy and busy, and it was good to see podcasting begin to be given a bit of a larger space.

My personal highlight was seeing the great progress being made by Radioplayer: pictured above are representatives from Radioplayer Norway, Radioplayer Worldwide and Radioplayer Canada. Great to see the industry’s...

06 May 2019

Sliding into irrelevance, or taking control?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’ve just been to Radiodays Europe in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s the highlight of my radio conference year: over 2,500 people highlighting the very best of radio across Europe and beyond.

This year, I detected a change.

Darren Davis from iHeartRadio, the US commercial radio company, gave a confident performance. Accompanied by lots of slides, he told us how...

06 April 2019

The dangers of assumption for radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Never "assume," we’re told in internal training days. To ass-u-me, we’re told, makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. And so we laughed. And had another biscuit. And willed the rest of the day to finish.

In radio, we assume too often: mainly, we assume that all our audience are like us. In 1993, I was told off by my Program Director at the time...

05 April 2019

A radio station that just plays podcasts

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

iHeartRadio has launched what it claims is a first - a radio station that just plays podcasts.

The nattily entitled iHeartRadio Podcast Channel AM 1470, in Allentown-Bethlehem PA, USA, will broadcast podcasts from the iHeartRadio catalogue 24-hours a day.

When I tuned into the radio...

21 March 2019

What podcasting can teach radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’m often asked what the difference is between podcasting and radio, since I’m increasingly straddling both industries.

The answer? Podcasters like each other.
 
I was at Podfest, a podcasting conference in Orlando FL, USA, last week. The conference, sponsored by Himalaya, had over a thousand podcasters in attendance.
 
Every month,...

21 March 2019

Speakers vs headphones
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

New figures have come out this week from Triton Digital, who produce a ranker for (in this case) streaming radio online.

They show that radio listening on smart speakers has doubled. In fact, it’s increased...
05 March 2019

Radio: the gecko’s cheating on you

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

If you’ve not yet discovered them, Magellan is an interesting company. It monitors the top 2,000 podcasts in the US Apple Podcasts trending chart, and produces ad reports. Here’s the ad report for January 2019.

I’ve found the differences between podcast...

19 February 2019

Bauer buys more British radio stations to bolster market share

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

It’s been quite a week in UK radio.
 

First, a bit of context. Radio advertising in the UK is 70% national, 30% local. Local advertisers will always buy from their local station no matter who owns it; but it’s more work, and therefore less profitable, for ad agencies to buy radio groups with 3% of listening hours, when they could just buy one group with 48%. Scale...

12 February 2019

A commercial radio breakfast show, without the commercials

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last year, Chris Evans was the presenter of the most listened-to breakfast show in Europe - The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.

The BBC earns most of its money from a television licence fee, currently US$195 or so, which households in the UK have to pay if they have a television. This licence...

28 January 2019

The truth about online live, linear radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I had a fearsome argument the other week on Facebook. It was about radio, which before we go any further, we ought to define - in this context - as “live, linear radio”. Like what you get from FM or AM, only online.

The gist of the argument was a claim by Mr X, as I’ll call him, that radio listening has now almost entirely moved online. Mr X claimed that online apps have “taken over”. It’s a...

10 July 2016

Apple apparently removes the headphone jack. Should radio panic?

 

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

A photograph has been published by tech news websites, apparently showing an updated Apple iPhone without a 3.5mm headphone jack. Does this mean FM radio has lost the battle to get inside the Apple phone?

Most mobile phones have a...

03 July 2016

Radio Free Europe - how European radio works

 

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

With Brexit now decided, where does that leave Radio?

From a radio point of view there almost isn’t such a thing as “Europe”. From a content point of view, there’s little that binds the EU together. Indeed, the European radio landscape is one of contrasts.

Across Europe, radio reaches 84% of people each week. Public radio is strong, too: on average 47% of...

26 June 2016

Can you work out Radio listening figures from Twitter?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

 

There’s no doubt that radio audience figures are pretty difficult to work out. 

In some parts of the world, radio audience figures are estimated by giving a percentage of people a little portable listening spy device, which listens to everything and attempts to spot a secret hidden code in the audio. These things are called PPMs, Portable People Meters, and are in use in markets in the US and Canada as well as in...

19 June 2016

Lazy Buggles Headlines

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland.

“I heard you on the wireless back in ‘52; lying awake intent on tuning in on you”
 
I have a newsletter every week, which is full of links to interesting radio articles. (You could subscribe if you want - next week will contain a...

21 May 2015

We Have to Make Tech Things Simpler

The future of radio is a multi-platform one. Audiences expect us in more places and on more devices than ever before.

Yet, radio comes with no visuals, no instructions, no way to go back. So if we're going to ask our audience to do something, let's make it really, really simple. Here are a...

02 March 2015

Three lessons from the UK's radio figures

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "The UK? What has that got to do with my market? 

These British, don't they know they don't run an Empire any more?"

Listen, I get it. But genuinely, I think that the new set of radio figures for the UK are worthwhile having a quick look at,...

22 February 2015

FM radio on mobile phones: a time to work together


I’ve been to Mumbai in India a few times now, seeing Radio Mirchi, one of the most successful radio operators there. India’s had an explosion of new FM radio stations, and is about to have plenty more added to the market.
 
Let me tell you something about Indian radio that might hurt your head. According...

08 February 2015

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