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James Cridland’s Future of Radio: Next Radio speakers announced; and learning radio’s future from NPR

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.


James Cridland’s articles

Worldwide

  • Red Bull Radio – a profile of an online radio station (which is based in Austria). It claims 600,000 monthly listeners. (Hmm).
  • South Africa’s Jacaranda FM launches podcast hub – interesting to see South African stations investing in podcasting
  • How Spotify Discovers the Genres of Tomorrow – I love this music data work. I’m curious to know whether any radio station is doing actual data work like this, or whether music is still solely tested in auditoria.
  • DRM Digital Radio Broadcasting in India – considerable success in this country for this AM-delivered digital tech. It’s great technology, but runs the risk of being India-only. Also absent: any consumption data.
  • Excellent point (in Splice, an excellent newsletter) from @alansoon – the news industry just wasted $25m on Trump-Kim. (At Next Radio this year, David Spencer will make the point that radio bulletins have been the same for the last fifty years.)
  • How to run a pirate radio station (kind of legally), plus a lazy Buggles headline. As an aside, for “educational purposes”: I really want to write a simple straightforward set of instructions on how to run a pirate DAB radio station. Anyone want to help?
  • Ooops. Norway’s DAB uses military frequencies and NATO wants them back. This piece is on a Russian government-funded website, and quotes Norwegian newspaper reports (who have their own reasons to continue to knock digital broadcasting). DAB is in use in many EU countries, not least the UK, on the very same frequencies. — LATER: of course, this story isn’t true.
  • Switzerland – turning off FM in 2021, a bit earlier than planned

United States

United Kingdom

  • Next Radio announces its first speakers for this year. This is a very good conference. Please come.
  • Another sensationalist, inaccurately headlined article – BBC admits defeat in the battle for radio audiences – from the Torygraph’s Christopher Williams. Fact: the BBC has a 51.9% share in UK radio listening. Utter nonsense. Christopher’s last work of fiction was to claim that the BBC was abandoning DAB.
  • An hour of Brian Hayes, on David Lloyd’s excellent Conversations podcast. (David is speaking at Next Radio in September).
  • Shock! Ofcom award a radio licence to someone new, instead of the incumbent. Ipswich gets a new station. The UK regulator liked that the challenger was planning to be on DAB, while the incumbent didn’t feel the need.
  • The new aesthetics of car radio – at last, people writing about making radio look better in the car.
  • The UK regulator points out that, in its opinion, radio is too male and white
  • Congrats to those chosen for the DAB Hall of fame.
  • 80% of radio listening will be digital by 2025, predict DRUK. Every one of DRUK’s predictions have been wildly optimistic. Even if this isn’t: would 2025 be too early to switch off FM (and thus threaten 20% of radio listening?)
  • Digital to outpace non-digital media spend, says this article; headlining it with a lazy Buggles headline. (What does “digital” even mean in this context? 50% of radio is digital. All TV is digital. And ‘out-pace’ is a rate of growth, not total revenue)
  • $100 Broadcasters: How They Do It – wonderful to be writing for the Radio Magazine again after a long gap. This article features a hobby station from Quentin Howard, and a few asides from the world of Portsmouth DAB and Australian community radio.

Australia

  • Relatively chilling news from Australia, as the Liberal Party (largest bit of the coalition government) votes to privatise the ABC in their conference. They’re now in damage control, report The Guardian: many Australians don’t like the idea. The ABC is comparatively weak; it has a 14% share of TV viewing and, in Sydney, a 19% share in radio listening. (The BBC has a 31% TV share, and a 51.9% share of radio listening). Ollie Wards from the ABC’s triplej is speaking at Next Radio in September.
  • Interesting from radio.sydney about their online listening figures. 29,000 per month say the stats. Except actually they say 2,800 real listeners. It’s good to note that this station knows the difference, and hasn’t felt tempted to quote 29,000.
  • Podcasting, online and DAB+ will all help Aussie radio grow in the next five years, says a report from PwC (though of note, it also shows modest increases for broadcast radio).
  • A report on how Australians get the news – part of a wider piece of research. Sadly, it’s relatively flawed: it uses YouGov as a panel, and therefore the only people who’ll have taken part are savvy online users. Still interesting, with that caveat.

James Cridland

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