James Cridland’s Future of Radio: hi-fi streaming, BBC snooping, 1930s news jingles, benches

James 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

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James Cridland’s articles

United States

  • John Oliver covers the decline in local journalism in the US (which, clearly, is also going on in radio to a degree). This is worth watching; I’ve linked to their Facebook page here, because for some reason they geoblock their YouTube feeds for some countries (and for some videos) but don’t bother doing that with Facebook. I’m guessing that you can’t.
  • Hifi music streaming services: People can’t tell it when they hear it, says CNBC. I’m not so sure, but I think we do worry a little too much about quality when we should be worrying about content instead.
  • There is no secret sauce in media“, says Rafat Ali – making the point that media should connect with its audience and create “unique residents”, not unique visitors.
  • A bench for a radio presenter in Orlando, for a Mix 105.1 radio host. Never forget how much the audience connects with the presenter…
  • The Emie Radio Bluetooth speaker gets a good review. The reviewer hasn’t noticed that it doesn’t actually contain a radio, though.
  • A good interview with the ever-positive, ever-enthusiastic Valerie Geller, from Mark Ramsey, who sadly blocked me after I called him out for being constantly negative and doom-mongering about our industry. But I’ll link to the decent stuff he does, and he does a good talk (I saw him at IRF in Geneva last year, and he’s a good speaker).
  • Tell your story – and tell it with pride – “we are the one business that does the lousiest job of tooting our own horn when we should be doing it”. Yes, this.
  • The adcontrarian celebrates the benefit of reach (aka radio’s strength) and argues that precision targeting is bullshine. I saw Dave ‘Giff’ Gifford speak in the mid 1990s, and he said – rightly – that “the only thing that works in advertising is what you say and how many times you say it”: and precision targeting seems an expensive and ineffective way of getting there.
  • Stories from a journalist on-the-road following Trump – we probably forget how gruelling the election is for journalists, particularly with the Trump campaign madness.
  • Radio Apps for Apple TV – a useful overview of some of the best. I don’t use Apple TV, but it does appear as though the platform has matured quite considerably.

United Kingdom


  • Instore radio – Coles is programmed by NOVA, while competitor Woolworths is now programmed by… Pandora.
  • Awesome time lapse from the ABC
  • The most bizarre thing to me on moving to Australia was hearing ABC Radio’s 1930’s news jingle. It’s like a step back in time. It isn’t used on ABC television, nor on ABC News Radio, nor on triplej: a lack of consistency that makes little sense in the multiplatform world we live in; and it sounded old-fashioned and, to be honest, a bit cheap. So – even though I’ve grown quite used to what has been described as “the alternative Australian National Anthem”, I’d be quite glad to see this anachronistic thing breathe its last: and that, according to the SMH, is on the cards.
  • Surprisingly good explanation of a Denial of Service attack by the Australian PM, via News Talk 4BC 1116
  • A new Facebook group: “I Take Pictures Of Radio Outside Broadcasts” (or “remotes” if you’re from North America). Might be interesting to some. I’m always fascinated at the different level of equipment used: a few years ago, I saw Absolute Radio broadcasting live from Melbourne Australia using just a laptop and two microphones; and took part in a BBC outside broadcast that appeared to necessitate two vans full of equipment just for a ten-minute piece with three talking heads.
  • Genuinely nice thing from Sydney’s KIIS 1065 surprising a Selena Gomez fan.


James Cridland