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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

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: A Look Round Radio Formula (Mexico)

by James Cridland

In his latest piece, guest columnist James Cridland reports on a recent visit to Radio Formula, a national radio station in Mexico, owned by Grupo Formula. A new facility, opened in March of this year, offer gleaming photos. “It was astonishing how much the company had packed into what seemed to me like a quite small space.” James reports. He also reports on the latest RAJAR MIDAS report. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Better user interfaces in cars change radio listening

by James Cridland

In his latest piece, guest columnist James Cridland notes an odd finding from Edison Research’s Share of Ear study: “AM/FM is still the #1 audio source; but total listening goes down by a third. Everything else – music streaming, podcasts – doubles.” It’s a user-experience (UX) effect, James claims: “Make it simpler to listen to other things, and people will.” He emphasizes the shared experience and human connection of radio. Also, interesting corporate manoeuvrings in Australia. And more. Continue Reading

Mark Mulligan: Streaming’s problems will not be fixed by royalties alone

by Mark Mulligan

The royalty agreement crafted by Universal Music Group and the Deezer streaming platform has gotten a lot of attention. In his latest guest column, MiDIA Research chief Mark Mulligan says both parties want that attention, if not necessarily the exact commentary they hoped for. “Streaming royalties are not adding up because streaming is not adding up. Fixing royalties is only part of the solution,” Mark asserts. Part of the solution requires understanding how these services have evolved, and solutions must consider the audience’s needs. A must-read.
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Mark Mulligan: AI, music rights, and known unknowns

by Mark Mulligan

“We need to look for early warning signs to try to understand when change is coming,” MIDiA Research head Mark Mulligan asserts in his latest guest column. “The music industry is full of them right now and the change to come will likely be so fast that music licensing will need a new playbook.” A must-read from one of the sharpest media observers. “If you thought change was fast this last decade, wait for the next one.”

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Mark Mulligan: The music industry’s tipping point is Right Here, Right Now

by Mark Mulligan

“Streaming is buckling under its own weight,” MIDiA Research head Mark Mulligan asserts in his latest guest column. Streaming solved the problems of piracy and cratering music sales, but with the unintended result of commodifying music consumption — passive playlist programming has squeezed out fan relationships. “The time is now to start building plan B,” Mark says — that would be a music world focused on fandom, identity, and exceptionalism. This is a vital thought piece from one of the world’s most informed thought leaders. A must-read.

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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: AI and Radio

by James Cridland

In his latest piece, guest columnist James Cridland holds forth on AI. “Any technology can be used for good and for bad. Just ask anyone who’s used Twitter,” he notes. James harkens back in time to when computers were introduced in radio studios, and suggests that while AI shouldn’t replace DJs, it can improve other parts of a station’s output — he mentions traffic and weather. Also: 7 links of interest. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Behind the scenes at 5 Live

by James Cridland

In his latest piece, guest columnist James Cridland reports on a “visual radio” setup for Nicky Campbell … and changes his mind about it. Also: Radiodays North America, Towercast, a survey from RadioCentre Ireland, and the BBC turning off HLS radio streams. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Radio 360 launches in Australia: new research

by James Cridland

In his latest piece, guest columnist James Cridland reports on a big change to the way Australian radio stations were measured – and how it’s reported. . Australian radio will be measured by all three available methods: Diaries, research surveys, and electronic measurement. Early results are revealing for radio’s multiplatform future, James reports. Many other interesting ratings realities are emerging from the new reporting. Continue Reading

James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: AM given reprieve; Long Wave to go away; radio on TV

by James Cridland

In his latest piece, guest columnist James Cridland reports on the recent about-face by Ford Motor Company in the U.S., which spares AM radio from being removed in its cars. Not so lucky for British AM, though, where “the BBC says that 5 Live will be off AM by Dec 2027; they’ve been slowly turning off BBC Local Radio’s AM transmitters too.” And, as always, global observations and commentary. Continue Reading

Paul Riismandel: What Is Brand Lift in Digital Audio and Podcasting?

In his first guest column at RAIN News, Paul Riismandel (Chief Insights Officer & Partner, Signal Hill Insights) offers a deep and detailed dig into the meaning and functions of “brand lift” — that oft-mentioned and much valued attribute of successful audio ad campaigns. “Brand lift lets performance marketers put a microscope on their ad copy and messaging,” Paul says — and he also itemizes important questions which get answered using brand lift studies. Much more — click to read.
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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: India tells mobile phone manufacturers to put FM tuners in; and the ‘live item tag’

by James Cridland

In his latest piece, guest columnist James Cridland starts in India, where the government has decreed that mobile phones must be equipped with FM reception. Then it’s onto BBC Local Radio, where station cuts are being called “scandalous.” An unusually long and deep column this week; click through to read the whole thing. Continue Reading