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Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

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

Can a top 10 place on the Apple Podcast Chart be bought?

Placings on Apple's Podcast Chart can be bought says James Cridland

A company called Podcast Influencer promises to get your podcast into the iTunes Top 10 for $15,000 per month.

Podnews has seen multiple...

21 May 2018

The MIDAS touch - RAJAR’s behavioural radio research
Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Every quarter, RAJAR - the UK’s audio measurement company - releases a little piece of research called MIDAS. It probably stands for something, I don’t know; but it’s a robust piece of research that measures all kinds of interesting things.

Here’s the new MIDAS Spring 2018 study (which, for Australians reading this,...

07 May 2018

Digital radio brings tight targeting and happy listeners

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

One of the benefits of digital platforms is that you can launch new, niche radio stations there.

My daughter goes to sleep listening to a children’s radio station on her digital radio, as one example. The programming from Kinderling Kids Radio, from Sydney, is safe and age-appropriate - and successfully relaxes her for a good night’s rest...

29 April 2018

Will podcasting eat radio?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week saw Edison Research release its latest Podcast Consumer data. It’s a good piece of research that is the most quoted data about podcasting. With over ten years of data, it’s also a good tool to help watch trends.

As part of ​the data release​, Edison Research published an updated Share of Ear study, which shows the amount of audio that Americans put in their ears. Radio is 58% of all audio (AM/FM/...

23 April 2018

Radio station swag - what works?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Last week I got a nice thing through the post. It’s a very small piece of plastic with a tiny logo on it. The cardboard it’s attached to says that it’s a webcam cover, and it appeared as if by magic the week after the big Facebook furore about privacy.

(As an aside: Mark Zuckerberg might have a strange attitude towards privacy, but even HE...

09 April 2018

Live radio is lazy radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

There’s nothing more enjoyable than doing live radio.

There’s the adrenaline of knowing that what you’re saying is going straight into your listeners’ ears: no filter, no second-chances. Fluff a little, and you’ve got to just plough on regardless.

There’s a thrill - if you can do it - of off-air monitoring in your headphones: the effect of the Optimod on your voice, particularly the crackle...

02 April 2018

Is radio dead? This futurist thinks so

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland


Ben Hammersley is a very clever man. He’s a “futurist”, and sports a very fine Victorian bushy moustache and some fancy arm tattoos. He writes for Wired magazine and The Guardian. The word “hipster” might have been coined for him; but then, he coined the word “podcast”, which is quite a claim to fame.

He spoke at Radiodays Europe this year in Vienna. Radiodays is a...

26 March 2018

The Norwegian experiment: switching off FM

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

This week, I’m in the cold and snowy environment of Vienna in Austria, at the world’s largest radio conference, Radiodays Europe. 1,600 delegates (according to a pull-up poster and they never lie) are here.

Last Sunday I moderated a special workshop on the Norwegian decision last year to switch off FM. They’ve now done that for all national (and many local) radio stations, and, by market share, 95% of all radio...

20 March 2018

Digital-first radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

It was great to see recently a story about Andover Radio, which is going on-air next month in the South of England.

The story, in the Earshot radio production blog, highlights how this radio station is...

12 March 2018

We can learn much from Radio in Europe

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

In a few weeks, I’ll be at Radiodays Europe, the meeting-place for radio. It’ll be happening in Vienna in Austria, home of lots of beautiful old buildings and some quite forward-thinking radio stations, including the excellent Kronehit.

Last year, I saw a lot of interesting speakers. One of the things that I enjoy about Radiodays Europe is that you get to...

06 March 2018


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