James Cridland’s Weekly Links: From Canada — the glass is not half empty

James Cridland is Managing Director of media.info, and a U.K.-based radio futurologist. He is a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. Find out more or subscribe at http://james.cridland.net

james cridland radio futurologist 300wI’ve been in Canada this week, for the Canadian Music Week’s Radio Interactive conference and to talk with my friends at Rogers. A rather frustrating panel appearance at CMW, on a panel with some great people wanting to change the future of radio, but the first question was “Why are we losing all the listeners” followed by “Where did we go wrong with the smartphone”. When we have 90% of the population of most large countries tuning in to our product, we really, really don’t need to beat ourselves up in public panels like this. We need to continue reinventing ourselves, as we’ve done effectively over the past ninety years. But, folks, the glass is not half empty. It’s nearly full, though there are some folks determined to spill it.

United States

  • “Radio is either going seize the day or have a seizure” – nice phrase in Dick Taylor’s blog about the next generation who’ll make radio’s future.
  • Malibu’s radio station finally hits airwaves – interesting to read about small stations in US
  • I reviewed the RadioFlag app for media.info – in short, “don’t“. Does show what happens if a US company launches something globally without understanding the global radio market though.
  • Can’t work out whether this review in a North Dakotan publication is just naive or a reminder of how others see what we do. Great first line: “One of the limitations of radio has always been that you can’t take it with you.” – yeah, that been… wait a second.
  • “I’m part of a team, so hire the team” – nice story of working together in US radio, via Valerie Geller
  • Radio: if it’s not fun, says Perry Michael Simon, nothing else matters. Interesting to hear the f-word used here in Canada too, when talking a small owner here. “We’re having fun, and we’re making money, and you need to do both those things”.
  • “We’re not necessarily in it for the balance sheet or the stock dividend” – the success of WLEN
  • This week’s Lazy Buggles headline (and I don’t understand its relevance at all for this thing about CD mix tapes) comes from The Orion – a website perilously close in name to another one I don’t take seriously either
  • “spectacularly bone-headed messaging” – Kurt Hanson on Tidal’s launch
  • Vermont blocks Internet radio to state workers. Try doing that with broadcast. Seriously, that’s one of the issues with the internet – anyone can block it. (Not always entirely successfully, mind you.)

United Kingdom


  • Impressed at Mark Scott’s Twitter feed – he’s the boss of the Australian ABC, and his feed contains lots of personal thoughts and team pride. Other broadcasting bosses should copy. I’m still staggered by how few are actually on Twitter.
  • This TuneIn app is AMAZING. After repeated listening to triple j for hours at a time, it thinks I might like it! – sheesh, if you can’t get your notification algorithm right, why bother?
  • Taking the fight to the disruptors – nice piece about the challenges large companies face in tech. By “large companies”, you might also include “large broadcasting organisations”.
  • Highly techie post about a potential new way to broadcast: a WebRTC P2P CDN can assist Internet Radio Stations. It’s interesting, but WebRTC isn’t quite there as a streaming platform quite yet, despite some interesting P2P opportunities to lower bandwidth costs.



James Cridland