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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Future of AM; Entercom/Waze; more

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.


  • My column: is the future for AM radio a switch to digital? – this was written about a US audience, and I possibly forgot to have mentioned that HD Radio on AM is a North America thing, and that this article is equally applicable for DRM in Europe and Australia (where 9kHz spacing is in use). One thing’s for certain: DAB+ is a much better choice for metro areas, but for thinly-populated country areas, DAB+ can’t be the only solution. Particularly for a place like Australia, there isn’t a one-solution-fits-all method of broadcasting radio – but AM’s coverage (in analogue or digital) is hard to beat.
  • Online audio rankings for January 2019 from Triton Digital. Flick to the insights pages for interesting things about smart speakers.
  • Entercom and Waze unveil innovative partnership – a good and clever deal. It’s a shame in some ways that it’s just with one broadcaster: radio would do well to do this kind of thing across many; however, Emmis’s failure with their NextRadio product shows the disinterest that US broadcasters have about working together.
  • ARN announces iHeartRadio license extension, “strengthening its unrivalled audio position” – dunno about the last bit, but iHeartRadio is a decent app that works in all kinds of things. Interesting that they’ve signed until 2036 – that’s a long way into the future
  • Infinite Dial Australia has a (partial) release. 15% of Aussies listen to podcasts every week. 83% listen to the radio. The full data release is on late Tuesday (US) or Wednesday morning (Sydney), alongside Infinite Dial Canada, which is also released Wednesday.
  • iHeart Completes Restructuring Process – the company only owes $5.75bn instead of the $16.1bn it used to owe. I never thought I’d write “only owes $5.75bn”.
  • Radio is ridiculously underpriced Audio bosses respond to accusation it costs too much. We’ll see more of this in future, I suspect. It’s clearly underpriced, otherwise we’d not have 12 minutes of ads an hour; it’s also clearly overpriced in comparison with some other media forms – so potential trouble ahead.
  • I’m on a podcast, going possibly.more technical than I should, about how I record my podcast and all the LUFS in the world. Seriously, LUFS (loudness) is something most radio broadcasters are pretty bad at in terms of podcasts.
  • More deregulation on the way for US radio, says Rolling Stone; also US radio has gender bias, according to this pressure group.

I’ve spent the week without my MacBook Pro, which after just 26 months began to suffer from the tell-tale signs of an expanding battery. I’m getting a bit worried, given I’m doing two presentations next week – one to Rogers on Wednesday, and one at Canadian Music Week on Thursday (and no, they won’t be the same). I sure hope it’ll be ready to collect when Apple told me it will.

Instead of my AUD$2699 MacBook Pro, I’ve been using my AUD$640 Chromebook for everything over the past week (using the same keyboard and big screen in the office as I always do). It’s been very interesting how capable the machine really is, and in many ways I rather prefer it. If you use Chromebooks, ChromeOSv74, which came out last week, has audio playback from Linux apps, so you can use Audacity or the much more preferable Reaper to edit audio if you want. I’ve been using my USB microphone and Auphonic Edit, instead.

James Cridland

2 Comments

  1. The nattily entitled iHeartRadio Podcast Channel AM 1470, in Allentown-Bethlehem PA, USA, will broadcast podcasts from the iHeartRadio catalogue 24-hours a day.

    When he tuned into the radio station (which appears not to be geolocked), I heard Hell and Gone, a true crime podcast – but of course. “Whatever bad thing happened to Rebekah, it happened here.

  2. The nattily entitled iHeartRadio Podcast Channel AM , in Allentown-Bethlehem PA, USA, will broadcast podcasts from the iHeartRadio catalogue 24-hours a day.

    When he tuned into the radio station (which appears not to be geolocked), I heard Hell and Gone, a true crime podcast – but of course. “Whatever bad thing happened to Rebekah, it happened here.

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