New year's resolutions for radio | radioinfo

New year's resolutions for radio

Tuesday 08 January, 2019
Image: Shutterstock

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 needs grasping at some point - before someone else does it for us.

Rethink how you make multi-platform radio - on a very basic level, if you never tell the time on a radio show, you can re-run that radio show, or that part of that radio show, later. If you focus on making great short-form content, you can use that on the air and online, in podcasts or more interactive services. A great piece of radio deserves to be used more than once. What does this mean for how you make it?

Focus on delighting your audience - commercial radio exists, yes, for ratings and revenue, but without ratings comes no revenue, and without a focus on delighting our audience, we have no ratings. Everything we do should delight audiences first and foremost; which means treating them with respect.

Focus less on tradition, and more on innovation - the past is a different country, where we did things differently. Radio's strength is that we can change the way we do things. There's no room for "doing things the way we've always done it" in the radio industry of 2019: we've never had the competition we have now.

No more antique microphones - some of the radio industry seem bizarrely happy to use pictures of old-fashioned microphones, 1940s transmitters and old Bakelite receivers. We use these icons in our trade associations, our staff newsletters, and sometimes even our logos. Our industry isn't like this any more. Please, stop with all that.

While radio's still incredibly strong as a medium, perhaps 2019 can be a year for radio reinvention, to make us even stronger. Here's hoping so.


About The Author

James Cridland, the radio futurologist, is a conference speaker, writer and consultant. He runs the media information website and helps organise the yearly Next Radio conference. He also publishes, a daily briefing on podcasting and on-demand, and writes a weekly international radio trends newsletter, at



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