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Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

The UK: almost ready to turn off FM?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Across Europe, they’ve been busy switching off AM, and the switchoff of FM is getting closer for one of the largest European countries.

New figures from RAJAR, the UK’s radio research company, came out last week. They revealed that 49.9% of all radio listening is to...

12 February 2018

Broadcast radio - are data-driven ads the future?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Back in the mid 1990s, I was doing the afternoon drive shift on a radio station. The only computer in the studio was my little personal organiser, which I used to tap notes out on; otherwise, the songs were played off CD and vinyl, jingles and ads were played using cartridges.

I can still remember a big red note written on top of my paper ad log. An enterprising local advertiser had...

05 February 2018

They say young people don’t listen to the radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Young people are falling out of love with radio.

How do you know? You just have to ask a random guy you meet at the pub. He’ll tell you that his friend’s son doesn’t listen to the radio, and, by extrapolation, no young people in the entire world listen to the radio. You can take this knowledge back to your workplace and comfortably tell other people that young...

29 January 2018

How are people listening to audio in 2018?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week, we saw two sets of brilliant research made available to radio people.

The first was from the UK - the audio measurement company RAJAR released their quarterly MIDAS research for Winter 2017. MIDAS stands for “Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services”, and this piece of additional research...

18 January 2018

The Brits are switching off AM - should we panic?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

This month will be another month of headlines about the end of radio - and this time it’ll be the British you can blame.

You’ll be familiar with the end of radio. All last year we heard about Norway, who has switched off FM broadcasting for almost all stations, replacing it with DAB+.

This time, the British are doing their best to give the press...

11 January 2018

Australian radio’s christmas-time sabotage

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland, originally from the UK, now living in Australia

 

Ah, Christmas time is here again.

Christmas is mostly baffling to me.

Part of that bafflement comes from the weather. The Christmas songs on the radio are full of snow and cold; yet I’m sitting in 32-degree Brisbane heat at the moment in shorts and a t-shirt, wondering whether I ought to bite the bullet and turn the air...

20 December 2017

Presenters and blogs: make it stop

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’ve worked with a ton of radio presenters over the past 28 years, and if I was going to make a general observation about them, it’s that they’re great at being radio presenters - the whole talking and communicating thing, they do that.

Few of them, however, are particularly brilliant at writing.

Now, that’s not to take away from those that are. There are a few presenters that can...

11 December 2017

The value of FM licences is decreasing. Here’s why it doesn’t matter

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

The big news in London is that there are going to be two new talk radio stations shortly - CitiTalk and CitiSport. The station is looking for a programme director, on-air talent and...

06 December 2017

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

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