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Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

A nice marketing trick for radio in regional Australia

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week, during the holidays, I did a lot of driving. It turns out that Australia, my home country, is quite big: and a trip from Melbourne to Orbost, which looks tiny on the map, is actually four and a half hours.

I’d claim that I listened to a lot of radio while I was driving that distance; but my four year-old wouldn’t hear of it, and so I was “treated” to the entire available work of My Little Pony on...

23 April 2017

Where is the best-sounding radio in the world?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

In a bar in Canada, two men jabbed their fingers at me - in a friendly way - and asked me a simple question. Where is the best-sounding radio in the world? What a great question.

I avoided the answer. We discussed it a bit. And I think we got broad agreement on what helps make great-sounding radio and the things you need.

First - the question expected a country as an answer. I don’t think that’s...

17 April 2017

Radio is rubbish at marketing itself - except for this station

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’m fascinated by marketing for radio stations.

I used to write radio commercials for a living, for around eight years. I’ve sat with clients and honed their message to make sure it works, and works well.

I’d end up being relatively firm with clients. I’d end up hearing myself saying: It’s not enough to promote that you offer “a great selection of beds all under one roof”. So does...

08 April 2017

Is Beats 1 really “the biggest radio station in the world”?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Run by Apple and available exclusively on Apple Music, Beats 1 was launched at the end of June 2015 - most audaciously, grabbing presenter Zane Lowe from BBC Radio 1 at the time.

The programming is good, and high quality. It's great to see Apple invest in radio - and invest they have, with three great-looking studios in LA, New York and London; and some great broadcasters. However...

02 April 2017

What’s the point of a radio conference?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I write this having attended Radiodays Europe for the past few days. It’s a big radio conference - the biggest in the world, in fact, with 1,500 people going there.

The conference rotates country in Europe: this year it was in Amsterdam in The Netherlands, next year it’ll be in Vienna, Austria. Four tracks of well-produced content always leads to some interesting thoughts, and a difficult...

26 March 2017

I listened to lots of podcasts - and here’s what I learnt

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I do quite a lot of award judging. I'd recommend it. It's quite a useful thing to do - it forces you to listen to things you'd otherwise not listen to, and you get a good, whirlwind, view of a particular sector or market than you'd otherwise not have got.

It's particularly interesting for me, since I don't make radio. I've not been on the air for ten years (though I'd love to again);...

19 March 2017

What Volkswagen can teach us about radio’s future

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Jump into a brand new Volkswagen, or Skoda, and you’ll notice the radio - part of the “VW Infotainment” in car option.

There’s a lot to like. For a start, there’s a big button marked ‘radio’ on the dashboard. Surprisingly, these buttons are disappearing in some cars, in spite of radio being the most-used audio source in the car.

There are also big tuning and volume controls....

12 March 2017

Get out of the studio with a USB microphone

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

The way we make radio is changing. My first job in radio was carrying a heavy Uher tape recorder to an interview for a news reporter - we needed specialist equipment then, costing hundreds or even thousands. Today, we’ve most of the equipment already. But you still probably need a decent microphone.

The Shure MV51 is an old-fashioned looking large-diaphragm microphone, but it is anything...

05 March 2017

The UK is de-regulating commercial radio - here’s what you need to know

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

The UK’s commercial radio industry is about to get probably the biggest shakeup of its life.

Commercial radio in the UK is comparatively new - it only started in 1973. Until then, the country had four national radio stations provided by the BBC - a part-time top40 station that launched in 1967 (Radio 1), a more adult light music station (Radio 2), classical music on Radio 3 and news and drama on...

26 February 2017

World's first voice-controlled hybrid radio for cars launches
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Radioplayer Car is the world’s first voice-controlled hybrid radio adaptor, offering an easy upgrade for car stereos. It’s a ‘smart radio’ system, able to switch intelligently between DAB, FM or streaming, to find the strongest signal.

A small box, professionally fitted behind the...

20 February 2017

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