James Cridland, 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.
Last week was really quite bewildering, with a number of very significant consolidation moves in the UK radio industry, and the global podcast industry.
Here’s what went on in the UK, and my attempt to unpack it a little for an international audience. Good luck everybody.
With RAJAR also happening in the UK as well, it’s been a fast-moving and difficult week. I’m looking forward to things coming back to normal.
Here’s other interesting things in radio’s trends this week…
- Changes coming for DAB broadcast rules in the UK?
- Political donations plunge to $16.7m – this is a relatively benign story. But it’s written by a robot, not a reporter (see the bottom). Wow. Impressive – to a degree. But it needed to be programmed to go through the data by a human, so…
- Finland: 92% of the population (9+) listen to radio weekly (2018); 71% listen daily.
- UK: 88.4% of the population (15+) listen to radio weekly (RAJAR Q4/2018). Un-noticed anywhere, as far as I can see (anyone would think there’s other things in the news) but this is the lowest weekly reach figure ever recorded by RAJAR.
- 0.9% of UK radio listeners switched off in the past twelve months. But in London, worryingly 3.9% of radio listeners switched off, too. This isn’t happening in other big cities, and it would be interesting to understand why.
- RAJAR also shows the lowest hours-per-listener ever – a figure that, as Adam Bowie shows has been declining for the last five years.
- It’s not all bad news: as Matt Deegan writes, digital listening is up, Greg James is doing a good job with Radio 1 Breakfast, and Eddie Mair has attracted (some) new listeners to LBC, who have had a great quarter again. But… hmm.
- Spotify’s entry into podcasting should help “defang” Apple’s place in the industry, as Mark Asquith writes.
- Nik Goodman does some forensic work with Radio 2’s music
- Daniel Fox’s Twitter thread here is hugely worth reading for those in UK radio this week, and also US journalism, too. Uplifting and helpful.
- An experimental podcast player with visual augmentation from the BBC. Commercially, Entale’s work here is worthwhile exploring too, I think.
- From the archive: How to find your next job in radio is good; and here’s Lisa Kerr talking about the skills that radio people have that work elsewhere (a piece from Next Radio in 2011).
- Is streaming killing the radio star? – a doozy of a #lazyBugglesheadline from The Guardian, of all people. I promise you another Lazy Buggles headline next week.