James Cridland’s International Radio Trends: The Future of Radio in the Netherlands – and is 5G the future?

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, St Helena Island, off the coast of Brisbane QLD, Australia. Hard to see, but there’s an AM transmitter on the far-right of this island – used for 4TAB, a sports radio station “for everything racing, pacing and chasing”. I gather the transmitter is fed by diesel. Pretty enough, eh? (I took this photograph returning home a few weeks ago).

  • The RAB in the Netherlands produced this excellent 30min video on the future of radio, and let me share it with you. The first few seconds are excellent, since they underline one of the issues with research specifically around the definition of the word “radio” – the young person on camera is asked “Do you listen to the radio?” “No.” “So, what do you listen to?” “FunX” (a youth radio station). “How?” “On my phone.” “But that’s still radio isn’t it?”
  • I wrote a thing about 5G, and whether it’s the future for radio – a lightly edited version of a speech I’d written out to accompany some slides at Radiodays Asia, and then forgot totally I’d written it out, and so just spoke to the slides instead.
  • I also wrote a thing about visually augmented radio a few weeks ago, and didn’t link to it from here.
  • An app that paid people to listen to podcasts, and had no visible revenue model, has closed. Surprising! (Not really)
  • Absolute Radio in the UK will air their “hometime” show across all of their decade stations – the same (live) audio, but different songs. It follows their rollout of this in breakfast many years ago. It’s a neat idea for a show that isn’t about the music, but more about other things. Surprising that, in the UK at least, others haven’t followed. (Germany has – both RTL in Berlin, but also FFH, which has a more advanced version of this for online).
  • Amazon launches “Amazon Music HD”, with FLAC tracks up to 24bit 192kHz sampling, at up to 1,184kbps. Mostly nonsense, partially because mobile phones actually won’t be able to deal with the audio quality – an iPhone only goes up to 44.1kHz apparently – and most people won’t notice the difference anyway. But it’s only $5 more, so if you’ve got the gold-plated connecting cables…
  • Clever. iHeartRadio has got their TV app into Hilton hotels. Nice way to get podcasts, radio and music into bored travellers’ hands.
  • Latest Triton Digital webcast rankers.
  • I feel rather for the BBC Sounds folk today. This piece is essentially saying that it won’t run on old, insecure, crappy pieces of tech and the BBC is to blame. While there’s lots that’s wrong with the BBC’s botched rollout of this product, you can’t really win with this.
  • I normally bang on about audio editors at conferences – and now need to redo my “future of audio editing” segment after this. This thing is amazing – watch the accompanying video of me trying it out for the first time.
  • Great listen – John Humphrys’ last Today. Great and statesmanlike interview with Tony Blair. Odd feeling by the end, as – even though I never listened much and mostly thought Humphrys was an out-of-touch grump – I felt genuine sorrow that he wasn’t going to be there any more. (Bit of a shoddy last few minutes though)
  • Something interesting – an algorithmic playlist showing what people in Brisbane listen to more than the rest of the world. Lots of local artists, but not exclusively. Clever use of data. As with other music data work, I wonder whether any radio stations are using this to inform their playlists – or, even if this kind of work could automate a radio station’s music policy entirely (perhaps through some genre filters). There’s actually one for virtually every city on Earth, if you want to give it a go for somewhere near you.
  • Job alert – Content Director for KISS, anyone?

James Cridland