James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: Personalisation comes ever closer

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.

  • Two big pieces of personalisation news this week. First, Spotify’s pointing the tanks at radio with this: a personalised, programmed podcast feed, which could be classified as “all the hits and some new stuff” (if that’s applicable to podcasts). I tested it – it seems a great product. Spotify now offers personalised music streams, a personalised news + music mix (“Your Daily Drive”), and now a personalised podcast feed. It’s already the most popular podcast player in many different countries (and, yes, all this stuff can be free too, if you’re okay with it being ad-supported). I worry that radio’s not yet clocked how disruptive this stuff is.
  • Additionally, personalised audio news, based on where and who you are, has come to Google Assistant in the US. They’re working on this in other places, too – I know it’s coming to Australia soon enough, which probably means it’s coming to the UK as well. The BBC, of course, won’t grasp the opportunity (it’s Google, after all): but I wonder if others will?
  • Live TV is a dying medium, this article says. It’s a good read, and I can’t help wondering if there are lessons here for radio.
  • Podcasting could reboot the sound of commercial radio, says Rune Born Schwartz.
  • Imagination at some radio conferences seems to have ceased – really, a lazy Buggles conference headline?
  • Every time I see this playout screen, I want to ask why the designer made the decision to deliberately make the important title of the cart be smaller and lower contrast than the rest. Eurgh.
  • This is astonishing. Internet delivery is so reliable for Amazon Prime, they’ve bought satellite space in the UK so that pubs get a decent picture. If this isn’t the most damning story about “the future of broadcast is internet” it would be hard to work out a worse one.
  • TripleJ, a radio station aimed at young listeners in Australia, is removing older presenters in favour of new younger talent. Exactly as they should – indeed, I gather another radio station in Sydney fires you once you get older than 25.
  • New radio stations coming from the BBC? One part of the organisation wants to tell us how poor they are and how they have no money, yet there’s always this on the other side…
  • The voice of authority is the dependable, professional-sounding BBC World Service, where last week a newsreader signed off a news bulletin by saying “BBC Poos”.
  • If in Canada, SiriusXM is free until Dec 3. Not that you’ll ever tire of Jack, Kiss, Virgin or Global News Radio, but just in case…

James Cridland