Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Hearing the voice of your listener

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Johannesburg, South Africa, is a place like no other to hold a radio conference, and I was privileged to be at Radiodays Africa recently on their tenth anniversary.

Radio is an important part of life in Africa generally. Radio reaches people who cannot read or write; and plays the part of an educator in many parts of the continent.

Here’s the excellent ...

14 July 2019

Take a look into the future in KL, August 2019

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland


I’m in Malaysia, planning for Radiodays Asia - a new radio conference for Asia, to be held at the end of August in Kuala Lumpur.

Radiodays Asia might sound familiar, if you’ve been to Radiodays Europe - as well it might. But radio across Asia has a lot of different...

04 July 2019

The radio station making money from podcasts

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Radio TOK FM is one of the most listened-to radio stations in Warsaw, Poland, owned by Agora Radio Group. A news and talk station with over 40 journalists, the station is doing something unusual: charging for podcasts.
Jarosław Śliżewski, the company’s Chief Digital Officer, says that six years ago, a decision was made...

30 June 2019

Three podcasts we can learn from

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

At the recent Podcast Day in London, I was asked to share three of my favourite podcasts, and as always I decided to slightly subvert the brief to really be three podcasts that we can learn from.
Reasons to Be Cheerful, with Geoff Lloyd and Ed Miliband, (produced by Emma Corsham)...

23 June 2019

Apple’s changing podcasting: but is it theirs to change?


Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Apple are making some changes.

You’ve probably heard about iTunes going away. In truth, this means little - iTunes “went away” on iPhones a long time ago, and this latest change is just replacing iTunes with three separate apps on the Mac. If you run a Windows machine, iTunes continues as normal. Apple have asked you not to talk about...

17 June 2019

Would Radio by any other name, sound as sweet?

With apologies to Shakespeare: Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

A while ago, I worked on a radio station called “The Groove”, which was a soul music radio station in London. It didn’t have frequencies, since it was just online and through DAB broadcasting, which doesn’t use them; so it was just called “The Groove”.

It became quite obvious that nobody knew, from its name, that it...

10 June 2019

Let’s stop deluding ourselves about the FM chip in phones

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

In Canada recently, I heard a little bit of history - or, so it seemed to me. Radio executives were openly banging the drum for FM chips in phones: an argument I thought was long since dead.

You can understand why this discussion is still live in Canada. Some research I did about mobile...

02 June 2019

Where should a radio station be?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Something fun is happening in my home town of Brisbane, Australia - some of our radio stations are on the move.

Top 40 station Hit 105 and rock station Triple M lived in buildings in North Quay next to the river, where they’ve been for the last twenty years. They’re moving two minutes’ walk away, up the hill to Petrie Terrace, a new...

26 May 2019

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.)

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


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