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Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

A recap of Next Radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week in London was the Next Radio conference - a great fun day with a lot of very good speakers.
Regular readers of this column will remember that a while ago I wrote about Triple J’s Hottest 100 - saying at the time that it was one of the world’s largest radio events. Ollie Wards spoke about the event, and I liked one of his summing up points at the end - that an...
25 September 2018

The secret to achieve a growing radio industry could be as simple as this...
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’m writing this in London, where the doors are (as I type) just about to open for Next Radio, the radio conference that I run here with my friend Matt Deegan. It’s a positive radio conference with an uplifting feel.

Go to a radio conference in the US or Canada, and there won’t be very many smiling faces. There’s a general feeling in the US and Canada that radio is managing decline....

16 September 2018

In radio, talent plus brand = success, right?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

So, Chris Evans, the current presenter of adult-contemporary BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show - the largest breakfast show in Europe, by cume - has announced that he’s leaving the station later this year.

He’s off to Virgin Radio, where he’s going to do the breakfast show.

Side note:​ it’s the same “Virgin Radio” brand, owned by Virgin Enterprises,...

11 September 2018

Naming your own radio station: what’s yours?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

“If you could own a radio station, what would you call it?”, posted a man called Nick in a radio discussion board on Facebook the other day.

Now, this Facebook group is mostly comprised of people complaining about how words are being pronounced in radio news bulletins, or photographs of car registration plates that vaguely look like call letters, so this was a welcome change...

04 September 2018

Can a smart speaker replace a kitchen radio?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week, a small fluffy bundle arrived in our house. We now have a small puppy - she’s lovely, thank you - and the effect to my radio listening has been interesting.

Next to the sofa was a jumble of wires - something to charge an iPad, some USB-C connectors to charge laptops and mobile phones, and a different USB connector to charge an ebook reader and, oh god, my doorbell, I have...

27 August 2018

Is object-based media in your future?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

“Object-based media” sounds very techie. But as I stumbled across a BBC Research & Development web page last week highlighting where they've got with it, I am reminded how powerful the idea is (and how much it could play a part in the future of radio).

So, what is object-based media?

If you're recording a radio program, typically the only thing that you record is the output of...

20 August 2018

Why you only need two buttons to promote your podcast

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

A while ago, I gave some thoughts on how to effectively link to your podcast.

In short:
1. Always link to your website, never anywhere else
2. Give visitors a “bloody big play button” so they can listen immediately
3. …and only two buttons: one for Apple Podcasts and one for Google Podcasts.

16 August 2018

iHeartRadio - the future of radio?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

iHeartRadio has done something clever this week.

In the US, the iHeartRadio app contains a bunch of features - not just live radio streams, but podcasts, algorithmic radio stations and (if you pay for it) a music service much like Spotify.

A few weeks ago, it added a feature that brings it up to parity with Spotify -...

13 August 2018

Some new advertising ideas are the pits

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’m six foot four, something that I’m acutely aware of in two situations: first, whenever I’m on an economy airline flight, and second, whenever I’m on a subway train in Asia.

Those useful straps from the ceiling - normally out of my way in the US and Europe, are all fighting to slap me in the face in subway trains in places like Japan, where the average height is 5’7” (171 cm) or...

06 August 2018

Podcast positivity

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I spent last week at Podcast Movement in Philadelphia - a conference with 2,300 delegates, it dwarfs any radio conference I've been to.

This was a well-run conference: running to time throughout, with ten different tracks that delegates could go to.

Reflecting podcasting's diverse nature, some tracks were basic advice about how to promote your show, or what to do in...

30 July 2018

Re-thinking and reinventing radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Two stories last week made me think.

First, this off-the-cuff tweet from a radio station in Scotland, having a day of “going retro” by… playing CDs.

I shared this in a Facebook group, and it wasn’t long before the comments descended into Monty Python’s Yorkshiremen sketch.

“Retro? I’ll give you retro,” said...

23 July 2018

At last - a chance for global podcasting measurement?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

James Purnell, the ultimate boss of BBC Radio, blogged late last week that ‘​we need an industry chart for UK podcasts​’.

He’s understood that the iTunes chart isn’t a chart at all, which is gratifying: that it’s a trending list, “which is great for audiences but content creators and distributors want to know reach and value.”

He writes that there’s no...

16 July 2018

Multiplatform radio lessons from Germany

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I was in the sunny German city of Nuremberg last week, as the guest of the "lokalrundfunktage." 

The state media regulator for Bavaria helps run a big, impressive conference with a surprising amount of people there. 

The most impressive thing to me was that I was speaking at 1.30pm, and everyone turned up at 1.25pm. As you might know from conferences, the concept of...

09 July 2018

Why you’re wrong to pull out of TuneIn

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week, US broadcaster Entercom decided to pull its streams off TuneIn, the radio aggregator. From now on, the stations will only be available on Entercom’s own radio streaming website,; and the smartphone app.

David Field, the company’s CEO, said “We are committed to making a leader in the digital audio space”. Seemingly, this is the way...

02 July 2018

Google Podcasts - friend or foe to radio?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

The radio industry has been slowly incorporating podcasting into its mix: both as a useful way of promoting some of our key talent, and increasingly as a way to get closer to clients by producing branded podcasts for them. Increasingly, sales teams are representing podcast networks as well as radio stations.

Last week, we were handed a gift from Google: as the search giant finally got into podcasting in a big...

25 June 2018

The next step for personalised radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Jamie Dupree is a radio reporter with Cox Media Group in the US, for WSB: and two years ago he lost his voice.

As a story on the BBC will tell you… he’s got it back. Kind of. A company based in Scotland has sampled his voice from a set of recordings: and he’s now back filing full reports for the company with the aid of voice...

18 June 2018

Learning radio’s future from NPR

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

NPR’s audience is up.

“The average weekly broadcast audiences of the top 20 NPR member stations continue to grow — from 8.7 million in 2015 to 11.2 million last year”, says...

11 June 2018

Are we moving to an all-IP media future?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

“We believe that the days when all media will be distributed over the internet are not too far away.”

Those are the words of the BBC’s Chief Technology and Product Officer, the very nice Matthew Postgate, who made a long speech which the BBC has reproduced on its press site. Digital TV Europe excitedly reported...

04 June 2018

What is a radio, anyway?

And what’s a smart speaker?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I rather like this tweet, from the UK industry group Radiocentre, which does a very good job of explaining radio’s multiplatform nature.

It’s a succinctly made point; and highlights a failing...

28 May 2018

Counting radio’s core listeners
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Whenever I speak to companies or students about how we consume linear radio, it comes as a big surprise to them that internet radio listening is so small.

Three pieces of research came out last week highlighting this.

In the UK, RAJAR knocked on nearly 25,000 doors, and asked them a bunch of questions about their radio listening. That gets the quarterly radio ratings for the...

21 May 2018


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