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James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: The FM chip delusion

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.


  • Why we should stop our FM chip delusion – my article this week makes it clear that we should focus our efforts on delighting our audience with great content, rather than wasting time on the FM chip in mobile phones. Consumers don’t want it, and it’s technically impossible in most new devices anyway.
  • France: 42m listen to radio daily – new data from the French radio research company. (There’s no weekly reach figure for comparison here: would be nice to see one).
  • Getting the loudness of your news briefing for smart speakers right is of paramount importance. Check out these awful reviews… yikes. Amazon asks for -14 LUFS, so giving them -14 LUFS is probably a good idea. (Here’s more about LUFS).
  • The latest MediaMasters podcast episode looks interesting – Jeremy Darroch, the Group CEO of Sky.
  • Visual accompaniment to audio (in this case, podcasting) aids advertising recall. This won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone involved in this area, but a really superficial comment: this is why you ought to have an RDS signal on your FM, so people remember the name of the radio station they’re listening to.
  • Fascinating report into the UK video-on-demand market, from Ofcom, the UK regulator.
  • Comparative data is always really helpful – delighted to see Infinite Dial make its way to a new country: South Africa
  • The Canada Council for the Arts and CBC/Radio-Canada to invest in Canadian digital content creation and distribution
  • Canada consumes media more in digital format than in traditional format. I’m dubious of these figures, not least because they’re forecasts (aka “guesses”) and unsourced, at that. And I wonder how different Canada is to everywhere else?
  • The consultation paper here from Australia’s media regulator, about the future of radio delivery, is well-informed and well worth a read. (Australia is a particularly difficult country to cover with radio transmissions, too.)
  • Great comparison between UK radio audience figures from 1986 and from 2019. Lots of new choice. BBC Radio 2 entirely unscathed.

James Cridland

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