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James Cridland’s Future of Radio: Google launch Android podcast support; and is voice synthesis part of the future?

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.


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  • A great story going on here about the World Cup and the scalability of internet streaming. Optus, a telco, got the main rights to stream most of the World Cup matches on their IP-only Optus Sport channel – with public service broadcaster SBS getting some of the big matches for the telly. So: how do you think that might be working? Er – not good. The first match failed completely, and even the Prime Minister got involved. Optus let SBS broadcast all their matches for two days while they attempted to fix it; they’ve still not managed to fix it, and all the group stage games have been given by Optus to SBS. Not just that, but refunds have been given to customers, as well as free set-top boxes. Is the future of media all-IP? It might be: but this debacle rather highlights how difficult it’s going to be; and how easily broadcast television copes with high-demand events.
  • The idea of the Liberal Party to privatise the ABC continues to be a point of discussion. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party has pushed for a requirement for “fair and balanced” to be inserted into the ABC’s charter, which is utter bunkum; and this piece also points out that other media companies certainly don’t want the ABC wading into their ad revenue, as a privatised ABC would do. Meanwhile, most of the press (all of it here in Brisbane) is run by Murdoch, so you can imagine the narrative. (As an aside, Murdoch has decided that single-use plastic bags, illegal in Queensland from July 1st, are an essential human right; and not a day goes by without more knocking copy about the impending ban.)
  • A note from an Australian radio forum: “Today I’m driving a brand new (500km on the clock) Toyota RAV 4 and I’ve noticed the radio is FM and DAB but no AM.”
  • Great day for radio and AFL: Gold’s Christian O’Connell now a Demon! (I have no idea what this all means). He’s sounding good (listen here ▸) and has clearly done his homework.
  • The ABC vacated some shortwave transmitters last year. The Chinese are now using them to broadcast their own news, according to this piece on the ABC.

James Cridland

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