A recap of Next Radio

Thursday 11 October, 2018
Ollie Wards

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week in London was the Next Radio conference - a great fun day with a lot of very good speakers.
 
Regular readers of this column will remember that a while ago I wrote about Triple J’s Hottest 100 - saying at the time that it was one of the world’s largest radio events. Ollie Wards spoke about the event, and I liked one of his summing up points at the end - that an outside broadcast doesn’t, by itself, make for a radio event. It’s a worthwhile eighteen minute watch.

Also from Australia, and also a great eighteen minute watch - Wade Kingsley talked about brainstorming. “Brainstorming is bullshit”, he said: and highlighted how much we’ve taken for granted in those horrible brainstorming meetings we’re forced to have. Good ideas are hard to find: and he gave a good few ideas on how you might get better ones.

Valerie Geller is well-known to many within radio, for good reason: her mantra of “Tell the truth, make it matter, never be boring” is the fundamental building block of great radio. Unbeknownst to her, I added another five minutes to her available time, knowing she’d do a great job of it. There are no boring stories - only boring storytellers, as she says.
 
(As an aside: if you only know Valerie from her book, you should listen to this hour-long interview with her, recorded with David Lloyd the day after the conference.)


An interesting recurring theme of the conference was listener participation. Top 40 station BBC Radio 1 has undergone a big change - a brand new breakfast show. Aled Haydn Jones was good enough to share with us a few of the things they’d done: a game of hide and seek (with true BBC health-and-safety treacle), and a game of pass the pasty. Listening to Greg James on the new breakfast show was a wake-up call for me: instead of a “morning crew” full of self-absorbed chat about showbiz, this new show makes the listeners the star - and quite rightly. A wonderful breath of fresh air.

It was also fun to hear from Michel Colin, who spoke about selling radio advertisments in sub-Saharan Africa. Interesting to hear that what works there is the same as what works elsewhere - playing clients other radio shows, giving them great audio, and working with them to understand their business.

There were many, many more highlights of the day, and you’ll find the whole conference, for free, at the Next Radio website - where you can also join our newsletter for next year.

 

About the Author

James Cridland, the radio futurologist, is a conference speaker, writer and consultant. He runs the media information website media.info and helps organise the yearly Next Radio conference. He also publishes podnews.net, a daily briefing on podcasting and on-demand, and writes a weekly international radio trends newsletter, at james.crid.land.

Contact James at james@crid.land or @jamescridland

 

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