James Cridland’s Future of Radio: how the iPhone killed radio, Beats1’s part in Apple Music’s strategy, 1976 radio automation

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

James Cridland’s articles:

United States

  • Remember FMX? Me neither. Read about this attempt to make FM radio better, and why it failed
  • CNN fights back against the, er, President of the United States. Good for them. (Careful: ‘viewers’ not same as ‘stream starts’)
  • The folks behind Apple Music, and their strategy for the future. Beats 1 gets one mention at the top of the article to acknowledge that it launched 18 months ago. Doesn’t seem part of the future.
  • Latest “we make up our own figures” glitch: YouTube. The fact that radio has a common currency is underrated.
  • Fox News Hires Nigel Farage – highlights the benefit of named-brand idiots rather than growing your own. There’s a trend here.
  • Local radio station hacked with anti-Trump song – in fact, there were a few of these. My column this week (watch for it at AllAccess, radioINFO and others) goes into this in more depth. Suffice it to say: set a password, people
  • Some good stats about HD Radio, the “other” digital radio standard
  • Jacobs Media Announces Partnership With Podcast Movement – clever idea to join a podcast conference with radio. I’m available, Fred. (Possibly)
  • Publisher revenue from Google, Facebook, Snapchat – it’s tiny, it seems. My own website publishes on Facebook Instant Articles and Facebook sell the ads: after six months, I may have earned enough for a small coffee.
  • Some great stats in this post from Reddit. Particularly: new mobile apps=40% of views; mobile = 4x more engagement.

United Kingdom


  • 1976 radio automation – a thing called ‘FRED’. I’ve still no real idea what it does. I’m told this was also installed at Capital in London, and failed so dramatically it’s probably the reason why UK radio was comparatively late in moving to automation.
  • Just happened upon this great history of local radio in Brisbane (really, a history of the ABC here) by Rae Allen. I think a tweet last week may have shamed him to update the last ten years 😉
  • Racist ad mocking Asians pulled off air – and in spite of it being on an FM station, illustrated by an AM-only #lazyvintageradiophoto because journalists.
  • How Australians listen to the radio. Split between AM and FM is, essentially, age-based. Internet radio? Not much. #ThanksTelstra Source
  • Bill Shorten calls on Turnbull to save shortwave radio broadcasts in NT – becoming a political issue
  • This is nice. The on-air clock at an Australian radio station – on the web. Worth a peek for your next radio studio build.
  • The Australian ABC have a TV ad for podcasting at the moment. An example of public service media educating audiences, which then allows commercial organisations to monetise them.
  • Oh, good. A new #lazybugglesheadline TV series
  • ABC’s chief operating officer David Pendleton resigns


  • South Africa: The future of radio in South Africa – could be worth a listen. Some talk about DAB+ and DRM30.
  • Canada: What Will Become of the Overnight DJ? – the excellent Alan Cross shares his experience of working overnight, then links to me, which means I’ll now link back to him and call him ‘excellent’. #howtheinternetworks
  • Ireland: Will technology kill the radio star? A #lazybugglesheadline but intruiging first para. Not a subscriber though, so I’ll never read the rest of it.
  • Germany: The media is fighting back against Trump – journalists call for more collaboration. I also call for more collaboration between radio folk against things like Pandora, so it’s kind of the same. But I’m not comparing Trump with Pandora. Other than neither of them are radio.
  • Canada: “Grand Falls radio host says Bell Media station fired her for mental health issues”

James Cridland