James Cridland’s Future of Radio: Upload Radio launches, Apple renames podcasts (kind of), UK calls election

james cridland canvasJames 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

  • CEO Bob Pittman May Not Be Able to Save iHeartMedia From Bankruptcy. The most obvious point about iHeart’s latest financials are that the company now appears to freely admit that it simply can’t earn enough money to pay off their debts. Unfortunately, the US press sees this as radio being in trouble – whereas the reality, I think, is that companies gambled on an expansion plan that, ultimately, was too much. There’s no doubt that this failed gamble has meant less money to make great radio, worsened investor sentiment towards the medium, and has damaged all of US radio.
  • One of the best news podcasts out there: The New York Times on Bill O’Reilly and Fox News. The New York Times’s Daily is an excellently-produced show, and this one excellently conveys the buzz of a busy newsroom in a way that similar programmes from the BBC or NPR, for example, fail to do.
  • US radio rules require you have a physical studio within your transmission area. But is it time for change, in the era of the cloud? Some are beginning to petition the FCC.
  • Apple rebrand podcasts: here’s what you need to update. Many commenters to this article on Facebook are a little depressed that they’ve stuck with the “podcast” name, and see it as just a little brand tidying. I suspect they’re actually phasing out the iTunes brand. Given the blurryness between a ‘podcast’ and a piece of on-demand radio content via iPlayer or Radioplayer, for example, it’s all getting a bit complex for consumers. David Lloyd on Twitter argued that we should take our cue from Netflix, etc, and just call it a “show”. And perhaps we should.
  • What You Need to Know About Radio StationID – interesting way to make radio appear better in-car. It uses song-fingerprints and some secret sauce to add station logos and now-playing information to the dash.
  • Traffic reports on the radio are mostly pointless, but if you have to, these are good steps to make them better
  • Horrid, only-in-the-US idea – advertising on RDS. Please, no. (But please, get RDS. It’s a customer service and a brand-builder).
  • This looks like easily the best session at the upcoming WWRS in Los Angeles. Look at the quality of speakers! (Seriously, if you’re there too, please get in touch.)
  • Interesting Kickstarter campaign for a little podcasting box fronted by Adam Curry to “optimise audio for voice”. I’ll be honest, I find his “No Agenda” show to be compressed so much it makes my ears go funny, but it should be something to watch, anyway.
  • 11 Critical Podcast Statistics of 2017 – good overview of some new work from Edison Research
  • “The world’s easiest embed player: the hunt for podcast links is over” nice tool from Lauren Bacon, though others also exist
  • A nice story of taking a station from “dang!” to dung, from Paige Nienaber
  • This newspaper has added a bot at virtually no cost, and it appears to be doing well. Wonder whether there are some things radio could be doing?
  • Interesting that “Fox” is now, in some areas of the US, a tainted news brand.
  • Video Did Not Kill the Radio Star: my kind of lazy Buggles headline
  • Bose headphones spy on listeners – wow, this is something. (Though, thinking laterally – radio ratings?)

United Kingdom



James Cridland