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Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

NPR One - making news radio better

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I may have written about NPR One before. But radio programmers tell me to continually ‘reset’, and NPR One has some of the most important elements that I think are the future of connected radio.

NPR once stood for National Public Radio. They have over 1,000 member stations across the US. NPR One, which is available globally for iPhone or Android, isn’t just a streaming app - it’s more than that....

04 December 2016

Radio in the car - popular everywhere

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Industry body Commercial Radio Australia released some new data this week about radio in the car. Unsurprisingly for radio, it’s good news: radio accounts for 80% of all audio listened-to in the car. Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music total just 3% of time spent listening,...

27 November 2016

Radio needs pictures, but not lazy antique ones

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

There's a number of clichés to avoid if you write about radio.

First: the lazy Buggles headline. Video didn't kill the radio star, yet this falsehood is repeated so often it's no wonder that many people consider it to be true. It does our industry a disservice. However, you'll see it with monotonous regularity on any article written about radio.

But I'm noticing another radio cliché. The lazy antique radio photo.


20 November 2016

The radio stations without radio studios

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

My first job for radio was in a radio studio built in 1975 to a full studio specification from the UK broadcasting regulator: including adequate sound-proofing. The studio I worked in was virtually underground, with hessian-dampened walls and large double sand-filled doors.

Studios are a big part of any radio station - an expanse of glass and equipment and often built as a showcase. They’re...

13 November 2016

Malaysia - nowhere is radio more popular

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I was in Malaysia last week.

Some interesting facts about Malaysian audiences:

25% of people in Malaysia are Chinese-speakers. So, it turns out that Chinese-language radio is pretty popular.

25% of people in Malaysia are English-speakers. Go through the FM dial and you’ll find lots of English-speaking radio stations: in a taxi, I listened to Astro’s “Lite FM”, a kind of relaxing AC station: one with a fearsome...

30 October 2016

Paul Henry - watching radio on the telly in New Zealand

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I’ve just been on holiday to New Zealand. It was very nice, thank you for asking. It’s awfully pretty, and everyone is very friendly. If that wasn’t enough, they call shopping trolleys by the incredibly cute name of “trundlers”. What’s not to like about that?

MediaWorks NZ operates the national newstalk station Radio Live, and I tuned into the morning show, simply called Paul Henry...

23 October 2016

Object-based broadcasting - the future?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Earlier this year, in late April, I braved the crowds in Las Vegas and saw something really quite special.

Dan McQuillin from Broadcast Bionics was showing two nice things, which Kirk Harnack from Telos persuaded them to show off in a YouTube video. If ever you should ever stop reading an article and go and watch a video, now’s the time. Go...

16 October 2016

Swearing on the radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Before we begin - the links in this article lead to words you may find offensive.

Over twenty years ago, I remember listening to the Dutch radio station Sky Radio, and hearing an incomprehensible dutch jingle followed by Prince’s new hit - “Sexy MF”. Except Sky Radio didn’t play the radio-safe version. We got the proper, full,...

10 October 2016

How important is a local radio station name?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

The biggest commercial radio group in Australia, Southern Cross Austereo, is doing something courageous in December - changing the names of 59 radio stations.

Australian station names are, to this Brit, a strange mix of heritage callsigns. There’s been a “2GZ” in New South Wales since 1935. “3BO” has broadcast in Victoria since 1931. But, from mid-December, they’ll be called “TripleM”, as will 29...

03 October 2016

Radio in smartphones to get better

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Smartphones contain a lot of technology: and developers have access to most of it.

If you’re a mobile phone app developer, you can check the GPS chip for details of where your user is, for example - so Google Maps can tell you where you are, or your news app can give you local information.

There are temperature sensors, altimeters and all kinds of things inside your mobile phone. If you...

25 September 2016

Should radio be Live and Local or Real and Relevant?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

I read a blog post recently saying that radio needs to be live or else it isn’t, really, radio. It reminded me of others who’ve said the same thing - that live is the essence of great radio.

They’re wrong. And here’s why.

Firstly, radio isn't live. Yes, this is slightly pedantic, but actually, radio has a delay on every single platform you listen to - from FM's near-instantaneous transmission to DAB or...

18 September 2016

Data, data everywhere: how much do we use?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

It turns out that Pandora has a "data journalist". She's called Liv, and she writes in AdWeek this month about the data stories she's seen on the platform.

It's interesting noticing the differences. Pandora thrives on the long-tail: music that is "ignored on...

11 September 2016

Radio listeners deserve a little respect

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

One item of debate in the US radio industry is a fake regular caller - Dwayne from Swedesboro, who used to call into a radio station almost every day. Dwayne didn’t exist. He was a character dreamt up and played by a producer of the show, though the presenter...

04 September 2016

Podcasts stats: what we know (a follow-up)

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

In July, I posted a piece about how much we don’t know about podcast stats. Today I wanted to write about the iTunes podcast chart: because it isn’t a chart, and not nearly enough people know that. But before I do, a few points from the last time I wrote about this.

As a result of my earlier piece,...

28 August 2016

AM Radio - Does It Have A Future?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

In the Coachella Valley in California, two AM radio stations have just shut down: KPSI and KWXY. The closure came with a two-hour special program, looking back at the history of the station.


21 August 2016

Radio internet listening - hit, or myth?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

In a piece in The Guardian over the weekend, former radio presenter turned podcaster Scroobius Pip says, of a meeting with US podcaster Joe Regan:

At the time, I had a radio show on Xfm, which went on to win two Sony awards. Joe asked: “Why do you work for someone else?” I...

14 August 2016

A radio sales tactic your station must try!

The radio ads targeted to just one person

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that radio, as an advertising medium, works really well. Really well. People listen to what’s on the radio - even advertising messages.

You might remember a few radio ads for radio itself. Most of them I’ve ever heard are either talking about the “theatre of the mind” (not very interesting to a would-be advertiser), or use...

07 August 2016

On losing your voice

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Talking for a living, whether you’re on the radio or off it, needs one thing: a voice.

When I woke up on Saturday morning with a sore throat, I reckoned something was probably up. A quick trip to the pharmacy gave me enough strange throat lozenges to get through a 75-minute speech - just - but that was probably pushing things too far. By the time I’d slinked away from the conference later that day, my voice...

31 July 2016

Why doesn’t your station name include the word ‘radio’?

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

This week, "BBC London 94.9", the local radio station for London previously known as BBC LDN,...

06 October 2015

UK's new station shows future is in transmitters, not online: Cridland

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

Radio X is a new, national rock/alternative radio station (FM in London...

06 October 2015


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