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.
- Is your website HTTPS? And should you care? – my weekly column for this week (in audio form, with a rainstorm behind)
- Smart Speakers, Podcasts Big Streaming Trends in 2018 – sorry for the big image in this piece in RadioWorld!
- Lots of movement around iHeartMedia, which was “preparing for bankruptcy” last weekend, though at time of typing this, they’ve not announced anything. Liberty Media, owner of SiriusXM, Virgin Media and Formula 1, is busy buying up the group’s debt. It should be remembered, but won’t be, that “radio” itself isn’t the problem here: that remains profitable as far as I can see. The main problem is the massive debt that the company has. Expect lots of lazy Buggles headlines when the news does break.
- New audience data from the US: radio more popular than TV, and continues to be top choice
- Radio Has an Addiction Problem, says Dick Taylor. A contrary view: I think ‘habit’ is the thing that’s kept radio alive.
- Gothamist News Sites Brought Back to Life by Public Radio – a very good, forward-looking thing to have done. It should lead to more content for both. (VISTA Radio, for whom I’m a Director, has local community websites for its stations, too)
- “These girls dropped out of college and became SiriusXM radio hosts overnight“
- Chicago Radio: WBMX Finds Success Airing Urban Oldies – interesting format
- Approx 50% of new cars now have HD Radio fitted in the US. DAB is pushing 90% in UK. One reason for the slowness might be the proprietary nature of HD Radio, versus the almost patent-free DAB+.
- The great big Spotify scam: Did a Bulgarian playlister swindle their way to a fortune on streaming service? – this is fascinating: bots listening to Spotify to get money for fake artists…
- From the archive, October 2015: the BBC announces it is to launch a personalised radio service that switches between stations, “in the next year”. One to file in the “what happened to that?” folder.
- A Twitter commenter notes that the much-vaunted BBC Music app is apparently shutting down in mid-March. It existed for just thirteen months. Wonder what happened there? We used to see blog posts from BBC execs explaining what they learnt: I hope to see one here.
- They’ve got the talent at the BBC, though. When I worked at the BBC ten years ago, I remember one of my team showing me a rather excellent private Chrome extension they’d built for a bit of fun at work, which automatically switched away from George Lamb on 6music, and automatically switched back again when he wasn’t on. Crafty! And later, in 2013, the BBC’s own R&D team built (and documented!) their “Archers Avoider”, a way for you to get “instant relief from Pip’s whining and Tom’s business plans”. Heh!
- A BBC exec once took me aside and told me: “We don’t do things first, James. We do them properly.” It’s one of my many regrets that I was unable to change that mindset and aim for both.
- Meanwhile, the BBC don’t publish their podcast download figures, but I was able to get some UK figures for 2016 and 2017 from the press office. The increase year-on-year was 12%. I don’t give opinion on podnews, but I do here, so… given the general growth of podcasting, isn’t 12% a little disappointing?
- That said, I’m very much enjoying almost all of the BBC’s The Boring Talks podcast. I suspect that you might enjoy it too.
- Buried in this announcement from Ford: a new version of Radioplayer, coming soon to Ford connected dashboards; along with Acast bringing podcasts to everyone.
- Music Week reports how, apparently, UK radio execs are now running away from a government-mandated FM-DAB switchover. I’m hosting two sessions at Radiodays Europe about the Norwegian experience, and am looking forward to new data.
- Bauer Media to launch Alexa skills for all 69 of its radio brands
- Congratulations to radioinfo for going responsive.
- Australian media companies join forces to appeal Rebel Wilson damages payout – this is going to be interesting to watch.
- The Future of the Hamish & Andy show – they’re back, as a podcast. Here’s a trailer; episode one is up now. I’m halfway through episode one: it contains a well-signposted commercial break, but it contained no ads.
- Missing Mount Hawthorn man Giuseppe Bolzicco found live on radio – must never forget the power of the medium
- A good overview of Seven West Media’s Clive Dickens – I’ve had the privilege of “being Clived” a few times. He is still involved with JACK fm in the UK.
- India: Tanu Kulkarni on community radio coming of age – this is a really nice piece covering India’s community radio stations, an area I didn’t know a lot about.
- Canada: “Radio Isn’t Dead”: A Look Inside Campus Station CHSR
- Ireland: Irish radio needs ‘radical’ overhaul to counter revenue decline, say media agencies – interesting to note that stations are not selling on cost-per-thousand (though JLNR probably isn’t good enough to let them, given it’s an annual average).