James Cridland’s Future of Radio: Young people and the radio, Spotify to get more expensive, and personalised ads

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’ articles

United States

  • Goodness. Spotify and Apple Music are about to get 44% more expensive (gradually) after a new US copyright ruling. It doesn’t affect broadcast radio.
  • What’s better than stopping people skip the ads on telly? An opportunity for people to click-to-buy straight from the TV ad. WITH CRYPTOCURRENCY! (ffs) This is presented as if it’s a brand new idea, ready to solve all broadcasters’ problems; in reality, I think this is an idea that’s been tried hundreds of times by broadcasters and has always failed, and I’m not sure what the special sauce is here to make it succeed. This press release was followed by another talking about them filing for a patent, because there’s nothing better for this kind of thing to succeed than making it proprietary.

United Kingdom

  • This is nice – Radioplayer’s Amazon Alexa skill now does podcasts and catch-up, from included stations. In other news, my Amazon Alexa arrives in the post today.
  • Podcast: A Million Ads, dynamic audio and personalised ads – these are worth learning about, I think. While personalisation is impossible, of course, on broadcast radio, I do wonder whether this same technology couldn’t be used to produce automated advertising for certain categories, like those dependent on the weather, stock prices, or sports. Could it make radio sound more real and relevant?
  • I’ve wanted to write this headline for a long time… ha! The BBC podcast I link to is a great podcast, too: I listened to both episodes on a long plane ride and enjoyed it. I must confess, I have trouble with the concept of podcast-only material from a publicly-funded broadcaster; I’ve been arguing for a while that radio should get the best value out of their content, and this seems a retrograde step to me. Does it really have no place on the schedules?
  • We need to talk: why Britain loves radio phone-ins, accompanied by a lazy antique radio studio photo (of a programme that wasn’t a phone-in).


  • They say young people don’t listen to the radio – an evidence-based article showing that actually… they do.
  • An Aussie newspaper (owned by News Corp) is doing some live internet radio, a bit like The Sun’s attempt a while ago. They live-streamed on Facebook as their primary (perhaps only) outlet. They had the Aussie Prime Minister on. I hope Facebook coped with the massive 32 concurrent viewers. (I’m sitting in a coffee shop typing this, and I reckon I could reach more people just by shouting.)
  • Data from Australian radio. This is a massively confused article – the headline confuses “radio” with “commercial radio”, and also seems low – Australia’s population is 24m, so if you were to skim-read this article you’d assume that radio’s total reach here is about 40% (in reality it’s well over 90%). Odd that this article is still there and uncorrected; but at least the press release is quoted.


James Cridland