James Cridland’s Future of Radio: Death of AM, and modern radio’s honesty

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.

James’ articles

United States

  • Infinite Dial 2018 contains good news for radio, says a Forbes blogger. Look for the subhead “radio isn’t dead, it’s just moving online”. Indeed, it isn’t dead – just going multiplatform.
  • File this under ‘Death of AM’: GatesAir Suspends Sale of AM Transmitters (they can’t get the bits).
  • iHeartMedia Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, finally. Sounds as if they’ve essentially halved their debt by doing so, which I think means that they might now be able to start slowly repaying it. All a bit of a distraction, if you ask me, which you didn’t.

United Kingdom

  • Of interest… PURE’s DAB car radio adaptor is a third-off right now at Amazon. Cheap way to add DAB to the car. That said, they’ve made the decision not to ship to Australia for some reason.
  • I love this. A great blog post about modern radio’s honesty from David Lloyd. And yes, exactly, that’s one big difference between radio now to radio twenty years ago: a lack of cheesy radio voice, and instead an authentic sound of someone like you. (There’s a question in my mind whether making radio sound more accessible is always a good thing, I suppose: do we want our radio stars to sound “just like us”, or do we want a bit of showbiz in our lives?)
  • In terms of telly, this is interesting: is banning RT really the cleverest thing to do? A good piece from Martin Campbell. (I reckon that if the British banned RT, it could very easily escalate into other countries banning BBC World Service.)


  • Titled SCA shows how to add 7.6% to your reach without really trying, this piece is really highlighting SCA’s rebranding of their digital radio stations, which has added a further 7.6% of listeners. DAB is big in Australia, though you’d not know it from listening to many of the radio stations, who barely mention it.
  • In terms of sales, DAB+ digital radio grows 24% to 3.8m units in past year – good news for the future (particularly for AM services).
  • Good to see that the ABC have now got all their local radio stations online. Their versatile app, ABC Listen, gets all of these; doubtless other services will do, too.
  • I don’t know much about Siri, but this article (excitedly talking about the ABC’s arrival) seems to highlight it’s a bit rubbish for live radio. Another disappointment from Cupertino. (I wonder what people see in them?)
  • In this week’s episode of Polly James’s podcast ►: “Australian Radio” with Kyle and Jackie O’s producer


James Cridland

One Comment

  1. Well James, great news. FM saved in the UK (for the time being). Who would have thought it?!

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