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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: RAJAR breakdown; TuneIn; and Slovenian music quotas

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.


  • Above: the BBC categorised every RAJAR’d radio station in the UK, and worked out what everyone was listening to. Fascinating data from Alison Winter. I’d like to see more analysis in music vs speech, but that’s coming (in the US) with Edison Research and NPR’s Spoken Word Audio Report. There’s a free webinar on Tuesday.
  • More on the TuneIn judgement in the UK courts. You might remember that TuneIn lost a major case last week, with the record companies suggesting that TuneIn should have a UK music licence to link to non-UK radio stations. Here’s the actual judgement (thanks Matt Deegan). The judgement appears to be pretty clear: if you aren’t targeting the public in, say, the UK, you don’t need a music licence for that territory, even if you are available there via the internet. This is quite a surprise to me. The argument then goes on that TuneIn is targeting the UK, and earning money by slapping ads in front of from these international streams, and so therefore should be paying a licence. Crucially: so should the international stations TuneIn is listing – so if you’re available in TuneIn internationally, you’re now liable too. This is a landmark decision for internet radio.
    • I’m no lawyer, but the judgement doesn’t appear to suggest, anywhere, that a radio station is capable of geolocking a stream to their licensed territory: but you can do this, quite successfully.
  • What does radio look like in new cars? Here’s a look – the EBU’s Ben Poor at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.
  • Another music quota bites the dust – for commercial stations, at least. Slovenia’s requirement for 20% of local commercial music is now no longer required. Public stations are still required to pay 40%. Here’s a piece in Marketing Magazine (you’ll need to translate it), where David Irgolič from Next Media says that “music quotas are set by listeners”, which is a good quote.
  • Public service cuts: RTÉ is to turn off their digital radio stations. You’ll probably spot the haters claiming this is a failure of DAB, but it’s rather a rather wider funding issue.
  • Public service cuts 2: ABC Australia is not going to cover the Olympics live on the radio any more, after doing it since 1952. The broadcaster cites cost-cutting, and the cost not of the rights themselves but of the coverage.
  • A great piece (from last year) about KCRW, the public radio station in Los Angeles that has broken more music acts than anyone else, probably. Written, I note, by music researcher and author Will Page (currently “Chief Economist at Spotify”).
  • Capital, with the stories that matter #lazybiscuits
  • This is nice – Radiocentre’s promotion of radio as if it’s as good as podcasting. (Except radio is used by 4x as many people for 8x as long, so, it might be)
  • Seth Resler is right – your station homepage has too much crap on it. In most cases, it seems to be that radio station websites are a misguided attempt to earn money. Their function should be a) to increase TSL, b) to increase cume, in that order. Discuss!
  • Game changer for “funny” radio bits in the UK, as Parliamentary proceedings may be able to be used for satiricial purposes in future. One would argue it’s all gone a bit beyond satire.
  • How were your recent flights, James? – glad you asked.

James Cridland

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