James Cridland’s Future of Radio: How the UK listens; a sad passing; radio with pictures

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.

My weekly column

North America

  • Slate say podcasting is now 25% of their revenue – the question for me is whether this money is coming out of broadcast radio’s budgets, or out of that for banner advertising.
  • How public radio’s risk-averse culture impedes its chances for success – an interesting piece in Current, and rings a few personal bells. Much of the secret appears to be to know when to just do things and ask for permission later; though ‘public’ radio also has to remember who pays its wages.
  • Local radio station switches to all Christmas music, all the time – wonderful quote in here from their press release: a claim that it is “the most dramatic and exciting new musical directions ever under-taken by a U.S. terrestrial radio station”. The station is Santa 100 in Columbus OH. I’m a bit more perplexed why the previous programming, known as Sunny 100, has gone over to 94.7, which was previously a country station. Surely you’d keep Sunny 100 programming on 100.1, and if you’re killing the country station, put the Christmas songs on that? But then, there is plenty about US radio I don’t understand.
  • Joe Frank has died. Harry Shearer pays tribute.
  • Edison Research and Triton Digital Expand The Infinite Dial Study to Canada – this is good news, since the quality of this research is excellent and it’s very helpful to get data worked out identically in three different markets (US, Australia, and now Canada).
  • Smart Speaker Sales Are Growing Faster than Smartphones in the U.S.. By the way, the Amazon Echo launches in Australia in February, and apparently also launches in another fifty countries as well. (Naturally, I’ve ordered one.)


United Kingdom


  • Over the summer holidays, two aussie radio stations played their entire music libraries (it took them 18 days).
  • Channel Nine’s Today Show gets called-out for simply copying a BBC Breakfast promo. And they would have got away with it if it wasn’t for you pesky internet.
  • Online Audio is valuable, it’s a premium product: Triton Digital’s Richard Palmer. (It’s also the opportunity for the audio industry to reset the low prices that we charge for radio: in the UK, at least, cost-per-thousand is much the same price now as it was in the mid 1990s.)


James Cridland