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
Hello and apologies for this newsletter’s lateness. [The Weekly Links usually arrive on Monday.] Today has been mostly spent writing articles in coffee shops and speaking at Birkbeck College about the future of radio, which was fun.
- Digital-Music Sales Overtake CDs for First Time, according to the WSJ. It’s not “sales”, actually, it’sNorway FM switch-off “revenue”, since it includes money from the streaming services. But the graphs show a pretty large drop in music revenue in total. Are we falling out of love with music, I wonder? And what does this mean for radio?
- Fascinating – a new app called “6 seconds” makes broadcast radio into Spotify. Watch for a review on media.info shortly.
- The NAB Show 2015… a pained update from a friend on Facebook
- 8 Things Everyone at Your Station Should Know – great stuff from Tracy Johnson, and I think highlights that small, nimble radio stations work so much better than large, corporate behemoths.
- Radio Disney launches ‘national’ service via HD radio in the US. Regardless of your views about HD, it’s clearly a great move by iBiquity: good content and content that works well in the car.
- Podcasters Rejoice: So-Called ‘Podcasting Patent’ Ruled Invalid – which was quite a black cloud in the industry. Good news.
- Union takes radio station to court for voicetracking DJs but not paying them full rate. Wins. Radio jocks are celebrating, but what this really means is that we’ll get more non-stop music, and stations will invest less in good technology and talent, neither of which is actually a good thing. Sounds like protectionist nonsense from the unions if you asked me.
- Introducing Podcatch – Dave Winer makes a simple curated podcast player. Should spark some ideas.
- NPR makes bags of money. Literally, bags. Here’s how their tote bags “became a thing“.
- Norway to switch off FM in 2017 – and is the UK to follow? I’ve done some analysis on how the UK stacks up, and manage to get shouted at by both the pro-DAB brigade and the anti-DAB brigade for toeing neither of their party lines. DAB person in Norway has a good put-down article for an anti-DAB campaigner; and points out there is no online radio growth in the country. [in Norwegian]
- Meanwhile, in the UK, TeamRock is to leave national digital radio – not a massive surprise, but sad for those involved. Is this the beginning of the end for linear radio? Meanwhile, their jocks go into detail about why they’re coming off DAB. (And people are ANGRY!)
- And, another 450,000 DAB radios with wheels were sold in Q1
- A nice overview of the clever ways BBC Local Radio is covering the general election
- Here’s the Labour Party manifesto. Plurality of media seems a big focus: page 68. I’ve also looked through the LibDems and Conservatives, who say little about the media, and through the UKIP manifesto who don’t appear to think the media exists.
- BBC Radio 1‘s New Video & Positioning – Francis Currie pretends he understands what it’s all about
- Ofcom receives 51 applications for local DAB – wow, this is quite something, and clearly shows the appetite for DAB from smaller broadcasters. Shame there are only ten slots, and shame that it’s only for a nine-month trial. Here’s Associated Broadcast Consultants with some interesting thoughts
- London’s Pirate Radio – interesting exhibition coming up in the Southbank Centre
- Another signing for audioBoom – who appear to be making a few of these signings currently…
- What Sydney’s DAB+ radio looks like. Lots of slideshows and images.
- This week’s lazy Buggles headline: Oh, dear, radioinfo.com.au. (The actual story is worthwhile reading, though: two new apps which are making it easier to make radio)
And in other parts of the world
- Moronbox news: Dutch launch first Ultra HD/4K channel – took its time! Will be interesting to see how it works.
- SoundCloud will start tracking what songs you remix
- India: Last para: All India Radio moving services to FM. Shortwave retained “for diplomatic reasons”. And DRM? Mmm, not looking very positive.
- Got a Chromecast? Flair Player for Chrome allows you to play internet radio on it from your laptop (notably, .pls files). Quite neat.
- I don’t normally like old pictures of radios (since radio isn’t old-fashioned) but I’ll make an exception for a box
- Tuning into radio via the telly in South Africa? Channel names get five characters. “BBCen” anyone? /thanks Matt Deegan
- SEO in Google Play for a news radio app – lessons learnt from 1radionews…