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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Faking it – competition winners caught out

by James Cridland

Capital Radio Network in Australia said it wasn’t trying to mislead listeners. Guest columnist James Cridland calls BS on that, and explains why. It’s about holding a listener contest without holding one. Nothing new, James says, and cites an example. Plus: Previewing the next iOS version, congratulations to winning broadcasters, and a preview of Swiss Radio Day. Continue Reading

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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Faking it – competition winners caught out

by James Cridland

Capital Radio Network in Australia said it wasn’t trying to mislead listeners. Guest columnist James Cridland calls BS on that, and explains why. It’s about holding a listener contest without holding one. Nothing new, James says, and cites an example. Plus: Previewing the next iOS version, congratulations to winning broadcasters, and a preview of Swiss Radio Day. Continue Reading

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Mark Mulligan: Mainstream is the new niche

by Mark Mulligan

How is stardom calibrated in today’s music market? In his latest guest column, media thought leader Mark Mulligan compares three stars of three eras, putting side-by-side their album sales, Spotify streams (where applicable), concert tickets, and reach by percentage of population. The conclusion regarding Taylor Swift? “She is clearly a hugely successful artist at the top of her game,” Mark asserts. “But the game is not the same as it once was.” All this comes into focus when examining population reach. From that perspective, “mainstream” and “niche” merge together. A fascinating and important thought/research piece for understanding music success in 2024. Continue Reading

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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Capital – Taylor’s Version

by James Cridland

In his latest edition of International Radio Trends, guest columnist James Cridland listens (with his young daughter) to a pop-up Taylor Swift station in the UK. It’s a Capital contemporary hits station. and is well programmed, James says, and “shows the power of DAB as a flexible radio transmission platform, and more. Also: The UK general election, a BBC radio flashback, a demonstration of dynamic advertising, and more. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Momentum 24, and the BBC’s ads

by James Cridland

In his latest edition of International Radio Trends, guest columnist James Cridland summarizes the Christian Music Broadcasters conference “a radio conference like no other.” — dancing before sessions, bands playing between speakers — “never such a positive and vocal audience. (And he “never felt so old, so British, so reserved.”) Then, back to a key topic lately in this column: The BBC’s plan to insert ads into podcasts. He calls it “penalising the UK public.” Plus much more from Australia and Canada. It’s not called “International” for nothing. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Networking but sounding local; and could the BBC go commercial?

by James Cridland

In his latest guest column: Bauer’s brand bundling. Then there is this piece of wistful idealism: “As the BBC gets ready to put advertising in its podcasts (on third parties) in the UK, you might think that if only BBC Radio took commercials, we’d not have to bother with the TV licence fee and everything would be good.” And than a deeper dive into that concept. A great, informative read. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Closures and bereavements

by James Cridland

In his latest guest column, James Cridland grieves the death of Paul Chantler and offers reminiscences. Then, how Bauer Media is closing radio stations, buildings, and transmission platforms. Then, a peek at one of Bauer’s studio renovations. James also continues his public commentary on the BBC decision to carry ads. And much more in a packed newsletter. Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Global recorded music revenues grew by 9.8% in 2023

by Mark Mulligan

The picture of music revenue is changing, with emerging revenue categories taking spotlight from older-school key metrics. This important guest column by MIDiA Research Managing Director Mark Mulligan includes a very informative infographic. Mark discusses a strategic shift in the industry. “Anticipating the streaming slowdown, labels and artists alike have been looking for diversification and new growth drivers, with superfans emerging as the central target.” Growth of physical revenues and “other”-category earnings are evidence of “superfan focus.” An essential read to understand how major labels view consumer preferences which shape major-label businesses. (And the infographic is must-see.) Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Spinoff stations grow overall reach

by James Cridland

In his latest guest column, James Cridland starts by looking at recent RAJAR statistics measuring UK radio listening. Interesting, he observes, that spinoff stations do not detract listening from their parent stations. Then he compares NPR’s Morning Edition U.S. radio program with the breakfast shows produced by BBC and Australia’s ABC. He is left “a bit cold.” Then he tried wake-up programming at LBC (a UK network) and RTE’s Radio Ireland. And much more. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Analysing morning news shows

by James Cridland

In his latest guest column, James Cridland reviews and analyzes the Today program at BBC Radio 4. The exercise was enjoyable enough to motivate him to do the same for Australia’s ABC morning show. Also, how to effectively promote radio listening on the air. Continue Reading

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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: How successful have HD Radio’s additional channels been?

by James Cridland

In his latest guest column, James Cridland reviews and analyzes HD Radio, comparing it to the UK’s DAB digital radio solution. HD Radio does not fare well in the comparison, for reasons ranging from low usage to poor user experience. “Now that HD Radio is more than 21 years old, it might be interesting to know how much listening there is to these HD2/HD3 stations. And it turns out… not much.” And James analyzes why that is. A must read for anyone interested in what went wrong with HD Radio adoption in the U.S., and a cross-continental comparison. Continue Reading