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Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Smart speakers for smart listeners

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

All the research, of which there’s really quite a lot, seems to show that radio goes well with smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Data from the UK shows some very good results for radio when you look at total audio time with speakers.

I’ve a Google Home, and I use it for music and for live radio. It’s been pretty impressive, once I know what to call the station....

28 November 2017

Is it time for radio to tune out of TuneIn?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

If this website story is to be believed, Sony and Warners have taken TuneIn to court in the UK. They allege, the story says, that TuneIn has breached copyright law.

The story claims: “A legal document seen by one MBW source suggests that the majors have submitted...

21 November 2017

The UK radio industry is on the up. Why?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Surprise! In a world of relatively flat radio revenue figures, radio revenue in the UK market went up by 11% in Q2/2017. Wow! How did they do that?

Well, first, it might have been 11% in one quarter, but UK radio will probably end the year about 4% up at around US$875m. 

Over a beer in a French bar - and I point this out not just so it makes claiming expenses easier - I had a chat with...

15 November 2017

Why it’s time to cosy up to your research folk

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

There’s a point during some of my presentations where I show how people are listening to the radio. “So, “ I normally say, looking at figures for the UK or Australia... “most listening to the radio is to AM/FM, right? What the next most listened-to? Radio through the TV… radio through a DAB+ radio … or the internet?”

I get people to put their hands up for each. It’s relatively...

07 November 2017

The Main Studio Rule - U.S. radio’s biggest opportunity in years

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

There’s change in the air - literally - in the US, the world’s biggest radio market.

SInce 1934, the FCC has had a rule that a radio station must have a main studio within its transmission area, and must also have a “meaningful management and staff presence”, which means full-time staff during business hours.

The FCC have just voted to eliminate this rule. As a local radio station, you now...

30 October 2017

What should go in your top-of-hour ident to make people listen longer

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Chances are, if you’re involved in a radio station, you’ll be available in a few different ways. Perhaps on FM, online, in an app, or in other ways.

We make stations available in different ways to attract more audience, and encourage trial.

All the research I’ve ever seen appears to show that a mobile phone is used as a radio “for when you can’t get to a radio”. Online streaming does really well in the...

24 October 2017

The gems in a side-room at a radio conference

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

At Radio Alive, the newly-rebranded radio conference in Australia the other week, I sat through some well-produced discussions in the main room. Some very high quality speakers covered many areas of Australian radio, including much discussion about advertising, branding and commercial content.

These discussions are great to have: they bring advertising agencies and others to...

22 October 2017

Voice-tracking: wrong for radio?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

“What do you think of voice-tracking?” came a voice in Q&A after one of my presentations in New Zealand.

The question came from a man wearing a t-shirt. The t-shirt was black, with a community radio logo on the front, and on the back, in bright white capital letters: “CORPORATE RADIO STILL SUCKS”.

Voice-tracking has a bad reputation; and I can understand why. It’s been used, in many...

15 October 2017

A visit to Q Radio in Northern Ireland

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Belfast in Northern Ireland is a city of regeneration and investment. I walked from the train station into the city, noting new buildings and renovated ones. The city appears to be a prosperous place. New brands have poured into the city in recent years.

There’s another new brand in Belfast: and I was on my way to see them. Q Radio has been broadcasting across parts of Northern Ireland...

08 October 2017

The UK’s slow road to AM/FM switchoff

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

The UK “Minister for Digital”, Matt Hancock, delivered a video address in last week’s “Drive to Digital” conference in London.

The conference is organised by Digital Radio UK, the lobbying group working for DAB digital radio in the UK. DAB is free-to-air broadcast radio through an antenna, much like FM but only digital. It offers listeners far greater choice, removes the...

02 October 2017

Next Radio conference - watch the whole thing

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last Monday I was at Next Radio, the radio ideas conference, in London. It’s something that Matt Deegan and I have run for the last seven years: a place where incredible people come together and speak about the radio and audio industry.

So, that’s why this column will be quite short this week: because I’ve been on aeroplanes and in hotel rooms tapping away at Keynote...

24 September 2017

Redefining Radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week, I was in Sydney in Australia for the Australian Podcast Conference, OzPod, which was an enjoyable experience. Lots of independent podcasters, rubbing shoulders with folks from the Australian ABC who announced that morning a $1m fund for podcasters.

I was doing an overview of podcasting over the last twelve months. This was a job that was relatively simple last year - take some UK and US...

17 September 2017

Cridland lets fly at ‘that’ US radio report

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland
 

The biggest news this week is a master of doom-mongery, "New Report Shows Why Radio Must Adapt to Digital Age". You’ve probably seen it - it’s been copied and shared on social media a fair bit, particularly being highlighted by those who delight in being rude about the current US radio operators.

In...

10 September 2017

The thing many radio station websites forget

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I tend to look at a lot of radio station websites and newsletters every day as part of my job. This is interesting and head-scratching at the same time.

There’s a strange thing about radio newsletters. People sign up to them because, by and large, they’re fans of the radio station: at least, they’ve interacted with the radio station in the past.

A good newsletter offers the chance to grow...

03 September 2017

Radio as you shop

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I wrote a long article for the Radio Magazine in the US recently about “Australia’s largest radio station” - Coles Radio. It’s the radio station you hear when you walk around a Coles supermarket, the most popular supermarket chain in Australia. It’s available on DAB+ in metropolitan areas of the country too, so you can listen at home...

27 August 2017

Radio should be where the speakers are

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Recently, my columns have been quite full of numbers and figures and statistics, so instead, this week, I’d like to do some thinking aloud instead.

I have a theory. It has almost no science behind it - yet; and probably very little proof - but nonetheless, I think it’s true.

I think that, for live radio, we should be focusing on getting our output on speakers, not headphones. Our...

20 August 2017

Saying thank you to your fans

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Sit in front of Twitter and watch @tonyblackburn’s account on a Saturday morning, and you’ll see something a little unusual.

Tony Blackburn is probably the most well-known radio presenter in the UK. On-air since 1964, he joined the BBC 50 years ago: in a video released last week, he tries to find the radio studio he first used in Broadcasting House. He was the first radio presenter...

13 August 2017

Social media goes massive for Slovenian radio hosts

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Here’s a useful pub quiz fact: Slovenia is the only country in the world with “love” in its name.

For a week in June, Slovenia was also the home of some of the most popular radio personalities on social media, anywhere in the world. Not bad for a country with only two million inhabitants.

Here’s how they did it.

Hitradio Center’s...

06 August 2017

The future of radio - according to our future listeners

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Radio is going multiplatform. Whenever I speak, wherever I speak, that’s the key piece of information I’d like the audience to remember.

AM and FM are ways of getting our audio to our audience - but they’re not the only way. There’s satellite, there’s DAB and HD, there’s the internet, and there’s other ways too.

Nowhere is this more the case than the UK, where radio listening to AM...

30 July 2017

Smart Speakers: Putting Radio back into Living Rooms

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

This week, Google launched its Google Home smart speaker in Australia. It’s been some time coming - the UK and the US have had it for a while - and it’ll be joined, at the end of the year, by Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod.

On the face of it, you might think these devices have little to do with radio. But you’d be wrong. They could be the way radio gets back into our living spaces.

In the...

23 July 2017

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