James Cridland’s Future of Radio: FM-only radio sets to be made illegal; streaming music use increases in Canada, and is Pandora in trouble?

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

James Cridland’s articles

United States

  • “Old, boring radio remains strong — but this app wants to change that” – a good example of the disdain that the tech press treats radio with; and another excuse by them to also use a #lazyantiqueradiophoto (something I”m more convinced is deliberate). I tried 60db, the app they’re trying to flog; it suffers from the same problem that any aggregation app has: a lack of decent metadata about the contents of the stuff they’ve aggregated, and an inconsistent sound. NPR One is the product to beat in this space, and 60db have inevitably fallen short.
  • Makers of “old, boring radio” – US radio network Entercom is seeing increased revenue – good for them, and an important story for those who think all of US radio is in the doldrums
  • Makers of new, exciting radio – Pandora: the writing’s on the wall – losses increase, active listeners decrease, hours-per-listener decreases, searching for a buyer. That said, the product itself is/was very compelling, and has changed consumer expectations. We can’t put that back in the bottle.
  • “NPR Attempts To Undermine WikiLeaks’ Credibility With Deliberate, Brazen Lie” – ouch. This isn’t the world’s most balanced piece, and Wikileaks itself probably doesn’t have as much credibility as the author thinks it does, but she does have a point.
  • Interesting data segmentation of consumption of radio listeners who are “decision-makers”. Whatever that means. My four year-old daughter’s a pretty good decision-maker.
  • Another aggregator for audio content, Otto Radio, adds a themed station feature. Otto Radio get really very excited whenever I mention them.
  • “I live my podcast life a quarter hour at a time” Wailin Wong – why they chose 15 minutes as ideal podcast length
  • Local (US) TV news has a problem – and you could say the same for radio news, too. Has it all become a little too formulaic?
  • How Modern Listeners Listen
  • A third of all Google searches are for images

United Kingdom


  • The Editor-in-chief of the Brisbane Times (an online only publication) stands down; and writes a thoughtful and wise piece about the future of journalism. Particularly, he says that it’s the responsibility of journalists to help find a new business model.
  • FBi Click to be replaced by 94.5 on DAB+ – DAB is coming of age in Australia, as community stations begin to remove the “additional services” that they’ve put on DAB in favour of their main channel. If your main station isn’t on DAB+, you will suffer because everyone else’s big stations are on there. I’m very guilty of not listening to 4ZZZ in Brisbane because they’re not on DAB+ – instead they offer a music jukebox on DAB called ZDigi. I wish 4ZZZ would kill it, and start simulcasting.
  • AM radio is still very big… in the Australian bush, says ACMA research. I think it’s a tale of two countries – AM radio might be big in the bush, but it mostly isn’t in metro areas.
  • Good piece of radio from last week – presenter’s daughter having nightmares about the school exams she has to take (“NAPLAN”). Came as a surprise to the presenter: which always helps make good audio.
  • A nice story about Australian ABC radio presenter Mark Colvin, who died this week. It’s the first time I’ve seen journalists and presenters struggle to hold back the tears when reporting the loss of one of their colleagues.


James Cridland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *