Different devices have different audience behaviours: James Cridland #CBAAConf

James Cridland begun his presentation to the CBAA Conference with a history of radio and technology changes, and debunked the myth that video, and all the other new technologies, killed the radio star.

“As you might have guessed, radio is still large… it was not killed by those technologies.

“Radio is very big, we sometimes forget that.  65% of audio we put into our ears is live radio.

“Podcasting is only 8% despite all the public relations coverage it gets.”

Cridland showed a slide illustrating UK time spent listening, which illustrated that listening to radio through a radio devices is high (10.7 hours), and that radio listening on other devices is also high: Radio though smartphone 12.8 hrs, Radio through smart speaker 12.9 hrs.

One of Cridland’s key messages was that broadcasters should focus on the content they produce, not on the platform where it is delivered. “There are lots of different ways of tuning into radio now, tell your audience how to find you on all the platforms.”

Different devices do have different behaviours, according to Cridland.

  • Live radio does really well on smart speakers. 75% of listening on smart speakers is to live radio.
  • Live radio is also stong on people who listen through their computers.
  • But on smart phones, music services such as Spotiy and podcasts are the majority of listening.

Loudspeakers seem to be most used for live listening, while headphones are usually used for on demand, possibly because the device is tethered to the headphones, which put a screen and the ability to interact with the stream within reach.

“Younger people are listening to radio less, so there are things to worry about as we think about the future…

“Are we best telling our stories on live linear radio? Should we be turning our thinking on its head and making content first for podcast, then putting it to air on radio? These are the kind of questions stations should be asking as they strategise about the future,” said Cridland.



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