James Cridland’s Future of Radio: Digital Radio stats, LBC interviews Theresa May, and Hadley ‘censored’

james cridland canvasJames 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

At Radio Alive

At Radio Alive, the newly-rebranded radio conference in Australia, I sat through some well-produced discussions in the main room before discovering a DAB+ session was going on in a side room.

“Less than 10% of radio listening in Australia is via the internet”, said the CRA’s CEO, Joan Warner, and shared some more Aussie DAB+ stats. DAB+ is being expanded here in Australia, though in private chats afterwards with people familiar with the project, it seems the slowdown is to do with the regulator and law being achingly slow.

Ford Ennals from Digital Radio UK was there, too. He’s keen – along with many others, it seems – that retailers stop selling analogue-only radio receivers. DAB+ is in almost every new car in the UK: but here are the overall figures for all the cars on the road. The user experience isn’t very good either – “Two thirds of people didn’t understand how to find a station on their digital car radio” said Ford Ennals of their research.

Chris Johnson from RadioApp had some nice data from the app’s first twelve months, and lots of other data that I’ve written up for an article shortly in Radio World. Joe D’Angelo from Xperi shared this example of the complex metadata events in a typical hour of radio. It’s more than just a logo if you want to do it right.

Meanwhile, Nick Piggott from RadioDNS showed some nice shots of the new hybrid radio. inside an Audi A8. Finally, Clive Dickens (ex of Absolute, still at Jack Oxford, also at 7 Network) said that “catch-up radio is not a thing” when it comes to the future of radio. He’s right – for most music radio programming.

James Cridland’s articles

  • …a piece about voicetracking. “Used badly, voice-tracking and automation can make cookie-cutter radio which doesn’t look after your listeners. But then, we can do that quite adequately with live human beings if we’re not trying, too.”

United States

United Kingdom


  • Network show saying nasty things about a local advertiser? Just censor the output… except it isn’t really as simple as that. It turns out that the output could be contempt of court, and Triple M Orange (and owners Southern Cross Austereo) wasn’t too keen on taking the risk. Makes for a less exciting story though. The station’s response, on Facebook, got quite some comments.
  • New and crafty piece of tech for commercial radio trading in Australia
  • Mitch Fifield refuses to explain Foxtel cufflinks gift days after media reform bill passes Senate – earlier this year, Foxtel (the equivalent of Sky or DirecTV) were given AUD$30m to help cover some minority sports on the pay-TV platform.
  • New “share of audio” data from Australia. Radio’s up.


  • South Africa: Tellytrack Killed The Radio Star #lazybugglesheadline – something to do with a TV racing channel making radio coverage less interesting.
  • Gibraltar: 78% say they listen to the radio every week. Here’s new data from the rock.
  • New Zealand: I enjoyed watching the radio, on Three and Radio Live. This product works well on both. I was there for the #acab2017 conference in Hamilton, NZ. Fun bunch of people!
  • Nice Virgin co-promotion in the UAE. One of the difficulties of Virgin companies is that they aren’t actually owned by Virgin, and therefore don’t normally work very well together. Virgin Radio and Virgin Mobile in this case, though, did a fine job.

James Cridland