James Cridland is Managing Director of media.info, and an Australia-based radio futurologist. He is a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. Find out more or subscribe at http://james.cridland.net
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Radiodays Europe special
- It slowly dawned on me that I was the first speaker at Radiodays Europe, back in 2010 in Copenhagen: doing my “radio round the world” thing. This year, I wasn’t speaking but hosted a few sessions and very much enjoyed being at the world’s largest radio conference, along with 1,500 other radio people. Here are some of the highlights…
Among the highlights was this: a fascinating session about radio consumption in the home – particularly voice-control. Sonos, Google, Radioplayer and a ‘futures agency’ speaking. There was a lot about Alexa, Google Home and other similar services throughout the conference.
Simon Gooch, Swedish Radio’s Innovation Officer, spoke about his work at SR. He sees his role as embedding innovation into everything the company does, rather than establishing separate innovation departments.
A view from backstage, as Jaqueline Bierhorst from the Netherlands outlined her plans for DAB, followed by the Norwegians explaining what their thoughts were when they began switching FM off in the country. They presented some audience figures – showing total weekly audience is down ten percentage points (“better than expected”, they said), but also showing that streaming music consumption hadn’t increased. Nor had listening to radio over IP, incidentally.
Radio in The Netherlands has always been a major part of the media landscape. That 82% share-of-audio figure is higher than most other countries (assuming it’s worked out the same way).
A man from Facebook talked about Facebook Live Audio – apparently available from every verified Facebook Page (not from any of mine, though). He didn’t say anything that isn’t already in a Facebook blog post, but interesting that the company would be this keen about promoting it.
The excellent Manoush Zomorodi from WNYC. A great speaker with some good stories to tell. We underestimate the power of great speakers at events like this. She was highlighting that audio from our audience is a good thing – as well as getting their stories and their feedback. She’s right, of course.
The four building blocks for building a better car radio, according to Michael Hill from Radioplayer
From Craig Bruce – a “personal branding model” (built for breakfast shows, but valuable to anyone). Craig was, as ever, excellent – using his podcast to highlight things he’s learnt. From Next Radio last year, here’s an earlier version of the same talk.
Denmark: how people consume news content. You’ll notice that younger people have very different consumption patterns.
Can’t pretend I was overly delighted at seeing another ‘futurologist’ at a radio conference. Turns out that Birthe describes herself as a ‘futurist’, so that’s okay then. But I didn’t see this session so can’t really comment, other than to point out that ‘futurologist’ is a made-up word that doesn’t exist.
I didn’t realise how big Lagardère was as a radio group. Alexandre Verkhoff, their Digital Director, talked innovation. He was rather more traditional – wanting to only ever do innovation if it results in instant additional revenue.
70% of people couldn’t find their favourite radio station in a new car, says Ford Ennals at #RDE17 – very confusing interfaces are damaging radio.
Radiodays Europe next year will be in Vienna, a bitter disappointment for those of us who wanted Brisbane as the venue.
Joe D’Angelo from Xperi said that we need a global, universal platform for the car dashboard to help make radio better: whether it’s FM, DAB or HD. He wants to help the industry to get there. Meanwhile Michael Hill, too, announced a global radio API.
Radiodays announced the first of a set of themed days – this one on podcasting. It’s interesting noting that radio conference organisers are also beginning to explore podcasting as an additional subject.
I liked Thomas Buch-Andersen’s description of public radio schedules as “school timetables” – a little bit of physics here, some music here, some French here. He’s right – and this description would also fit many community radio stations, too.
Matt Deegan did a good five-ideas session, too. This “five ideas” session is always a highlight, right at the end of the conference – a nice signature piece. I liked his “stop relying on phones” bit, though I can’t remember for the life of me what it was when writing this up, so you’ll just have to ask him yourself.
Thankfully, there’s no guessing with these five ideas from Manoush Zomorodi (if you’ve not yet realised, you can click these images to make them bigger). Like many of the best broadcasters I’ve met, she has an attitude that listeners are intelligent, bright people who can make your output better. This is, sadly, not a normal view among many radio companies.
I’ve written about the Supla app before – over here – but it was great to see it being presented at Radiodays. Unusual for a “radio” app to also contain a wide variety of additional content – and the right thing to do, in my opinion (if you can make the money work).
Felicia Reinstädt showed her secrets of success from bremen NEXT in Germany. It seems that watching what youth stations do is a good way of spotting trends.
The rest of this week’s news