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Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

What podcasting can teach radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’m often asked what the difference is between podcasting and radio, since I’m increasingly straddling both industries. The answer? Podcasters like each other.
 
I was at Podfest, a podcasting conference in Orlando FL, USA, last week. The conference, sponsored by Himalaya, had over a thousand podcasters in attendance.
 
Every month, a third of all US adults...
13 March 2019

Speakers vs headphones

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

New figures have come out this week from Triton Digital, who produce a ranker for (in this case) streaming radio online.

They show that radio listening on smart speakers has doubled. In fact, it’s...
05 March 2019

Cridland questions CRA's strategy targeting tech giants

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

At 8pm on November 23, 1923, the first radio station went on-air in Australia. It was called 2SB, and it broadcast using a “sealed set”. If you wanted to listen, you’d have to buy a special radio receiver from the station; and a licence, which paid for the programming. Your set just picked up 2SB. So, if you wanted to listen to the competing 2FC, you needed to buy...

25 February 2019

Radio: the gecko’s cheating on you

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

If you’ve not yet discovered it, Magellan is an interesting company. It monitors the top 2,000 podcasts in the US Apple Podcasts trending chart, and produces ad reports. Here’s the ad report for January 2019.

I’ve found the differences between podcast advertising and radio...

19 February 2019

Bauer buys more British radio stations to bolster market share

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

It’s been quite a week in UK radio.

First, a bit of context. Radio advertising in the UK is 70% national, 30% local. Local advertisers will always buy from their local station no matter who owns it; but it’s more work, and therefore less profitable, for ad agencies to buy radio groups with 3% of listening hours, when they could just buy one group with 48%. Scale is important.

...

12 February 2019

Big T, Little T - should “engineering” be different to “IT”?
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland
In 2007, I started working for the BBC in London, in something then known as Future Media and Technology, and almost as soon as I started, I was told of a split within the organisation’s technology teams that I should be aware of. There were, in essence, two different teams - known as “Big T” and “Little T”.
 
“Big T” was Technology with a capital T. The sort...
05 February 2019

Does a little Australian TV channel give us clues for radio’s future?
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland
Television, as we know, is changing rapidly - significantly more so than radio. Viewers to live TV are declining, as audiences get more used to on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu, Stan, or iPlayer. So, TV platforms are trying new things.

At the beginning of this year, the TV system that I subscribe to - a little Australian set-top-box called Fetch TV - added a new...

28 January 2019

A commercial radio breakfast show, without the commercials
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last year, Chris Evans was the presenter of the most listened-to breakfast show in Europe - The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2.
 
The BBC earns most of its money from a television licence fee, currently US$195 or so, which households in the UK have to pay if they have a television. This licence fee (and the sale of programmes to other...
22 January 2019

The BBC’s unfortunate bullying of Fortunately listeners
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

 Try to listen to the new season of Fortunately, a podcast from the BBC, and you’ll be told you can’t.

It’s a show that BBC produces which never makes it on the radio. Instead, it follows the same genre as many podcasts do: two friends chatting over a coffee with a special...
15 January 2019

New year's resolutions for radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Welcome to 2019. How are your personal New Year's Resolutions going? I thought I'd suggest a few for the radio industry

Lower your ad load - twelve or even fifteen minutes of ads an hour is a poor experience when compared to many of our competitors. In many cases, ads are being sold at a spot rate that hasn't changed in thirty years. Easier said than done, but this is a nettle that...

08 January 2019

Radio in 2019 - some predictions
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

What will we see in radio in 2019? My job's to look at trends in radio consumption, not really future-gazing: but perhaps I might offer the following thoughts:
 
Smart speakers will continue to grow. Google's ecosystem is much larger than Amazon's, though if you only measure on sales of Google or Amazon branded units, Amazon still has the upper hand. This is good...

11 December 2018

Flipping for Christmas in the UK
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

 

In the US, it's relatively common for radio stations to suddenly flip to playing Christmas music. You can go to bed one night, wake up and discover that your favourite station is suddenly playing nothing but Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree or All I Want For Christmas Is You.
 
Ireland has a station called Christmas FM which runs...
04 December 2018

Standards are boring - but they are there for a reason
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

 

Tune in to many FM stations with RDS signals in France, Italy or the USA, and you’ll notice that some stations try putting some now-playing information over the 8-character radio station name. Watch, and it slowly scrolls through a song name, or - worse - some advertising. It’ll normally scroll once every two seconds, due to the way RDS works, so it scrolls really very slowly; and...
27 November 2018

Check your speakers really are smart
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

 

I’m swearing at my smart speakers a little this week.
 
I’ve a few Google speakers in the house, including a Google Home Hub - the one with a little screen on it. It’s great as a radio from my point of view, since it has a decent-ish speaker on it (better for voice than music, though). It’s good for radio, since it has a good big...
20 November 2018

Radio in the car - a better experience
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

 

About 50% of all radio listening happens in the car (the figure’s lower in countries like the UK, but higher in places like the US).
 
In many ways, radio’s best in the car. Radio - the original multitasking medium - lets you concentrate enough to drive your 1,300kg (2,800 lb) metal death-machine along busy streets alongside soft, vulnerable fleshy pedestrians, while...
13 November 2018

New technology: bad for radio?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Automation Killed The Radio Star, says the latest blog from Dick Taylor, a US radio writer.

 
Two things about this.
 
The first is the use of a lazy Buggles headline. Radio is still very much alive, with 9 out of 10 people in most...

06 November 2018

Podcast measurement: more standardised than you’d think

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

It was interesting seeing one of the pieces of news coming out of Radio Alive, the radio conference in Australia, recently: the Australian radio industry are putting together a Podcast Working Group “to spearhead the development of the growing podcast industry in Australia”.

Their press release...

24 October 2018

Do you really need a radio studio at all?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I still remember my first look round a radio station. In spite of writing to Signal Radio in Stoke-on-Trent and being ignored (shame on you, Signal), Radio Aire in Leeds held an open day, and I got to look round the studios. I remember being amazed by the equipment, and was astonished at how great the jingles sounded on the decent studio monitors; and the...

15 October 2018

New tech offers radio listeners more choice
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

New technology enables us to delight our listeners even more - particularly, radio operators are now offering more choice than ever before.

In Australia, Southern Cross Austereo have been doing a crafty job of launching additional brand extensions for rock and sport station Triple M, and top 40 channel Hit - so listeners can now enjoy Triple M branded stations playing modern rock, or...

09 October 2018

Why are you in radio anyway?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I had a conversation a while ago about FM RDS, that thing which tells you what radio station you’re listening to on a big screen in your car, so you don’t forget. For some reason, this US radio company that I was talking to didn’t have RDS. The fundamental question from the radio guy? “Yeah, but how can I earn...

02 October 2018

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