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 sends his newsletter this week with some extra industry discussion:
The biggest news this week is a master of doom-mongery, “New Report Shows Why Radio Must Adapt to Digital Age“. It’s about US radio not about radio as a whole, and much of this is a platformist argument; but be that as it may, here are a few things on this:
First, it’s mainly talking about FM music radio, and it’s attempting to say that radio is nowhere near as important to the music industry as it once was. This report was ‘encouraged’ by SoundExchange who have been fighting US radio in court trying to prove it’s less important to the music industry as it once was (and no longer deserves special treatment). I’m no university professor, but there may be some kind of connection. In any case, I’d agree that radio is nowhere near as important to the music industry as it once was.
Second, normally the US radio industry is too meek or distracted to bother responding. Not this time. The NAB called it silly, responding with point-by-point arguments. Westwood One got the figures out, and produced five charts, adding “don’t always believe everything you read, especially from streaming music royalty organisations”. Nielsen strongly disagreed with the article’s remarks about the PPM, too.
This is a moment for the US radio industry. They appear to have discovered a willingness to work together, to fight, to call out the doom-mongers. Congratulations to them. What would be brilliant is if they also used this new-found passion to continue to adapt to the digital age, and stop arguments founded on platformism rather than content. Clue: there’s a whole world out there doing it already.
James Cridland’s articles
- The thing many radio station websites forget – though this also riffs a little on newsletters as well.
- How to send a press release to a website publication – oh, yes. I may have cracked.
- 5 Things Radio Broadcasters Should Know About Millennials – though, please, someone, buy Georgia Beasley something other than a #lazyantiqueradio to lean on.
- Hurricane Harvey couldn’t silence Texas radio stations – and if you think radio is no longer the emergency service, the NextRadio app has the data to prove it’s still vital.
- Eighteen BBC Local Radio stations fall silent – I’m saddened by this: ViLOR is a good idea and has a number of benefits, but this event probably means the brakes will be put on this project and other innovation.
- Bank holiday getaway: Do we still need radio traffic alerts? – astonishingly… yes. I regularly witter on about how there’s no point for travel alerts, but I’m pleased to be proved wrong with data.
- The Indian Army colonel and the birth of local BBC radio in Norwich
- Russell Brand, the man who pre-recorded a show with something bad in it and got much criticism from the regulator on BBC Radio 2, is a reformed man. This time, he pre-recorded a show with something bad in it and got much criticism from the regulator on Radio X. Who’d have thought it?
- One of the good people in radio, Keith Skues, talks about his time on Radio 1.
- BBC Radio 4’s paper review, in Today, will include online outlets shortly. I’m always surprised at the amount of genuflection that the broadcast media gives print in the UK. “The paper review” isn’t part of media output in Australia or the US: who cares what was news 12 hours ago, I wonder?
- How the invention of the radio created a new era for Glasgow (from earlier)
- Australian ABC adds more local radio streams
- Ozpod 2017 announces full and final program for 2nd Australian podcast conference – even me. I’ve written about five minutes so far.
- An open pronunciation guide for Australia, from the ABC. The BBC’s one is, naturally, behind the BBC’s intranet and not available as a public service.
- India: Why listening to the radio is special even in the age of TV
- Switzerland: digital radio listening reaches nearly 60 percent. They’re turning off FM in 2020.
- Switzerland: Radio “more important than newspaper and TV“
- Norway’s FM switchoff has resulted in youth service P3 losing a third of their listeners, says Rudiger Landgraf.
- Dubai: Arabian Radio Network Adds Visualization