It’s not rocket science – but tuning into the radio isn’t always easy either

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

A month or so ago, I was chatting with a friend who works at a local radio station here in Brisbane, and he pulled out of his pocket a little card. He gives one of these cards to everyone he interviews for his radio show, or everyone he talks to.

Thanks for the chat, it said. Here’s how to tune in. And it listed all the different ways you could tune in: on AM, on DAB, their website address, what their app was called, and so on.

We’re in a very multiplatform world, now. AM/FM listening is going down, and listening on other platforms is on the rise. Radio stations are in more places than ever before. But the mistake we often fall into is assuming that our audience understands all that. And, typically, they don’t.

Of all the radio stations I’ve heard in Australia, very few are repeatedly reminding me where they broadcast. Some never tell me the frequency on-air. Some do, but never also mention that they’re on DAB+, or online.

Research by the UK media regulator, Ofcom, shows that around two-thirds of people (63%) have never listened to the radio online, for example. Yet in the UK, almost every radio station is available in that way. And you’d be surprised how many people tell you “I’d love to listen at work, but I don’t have a portable radio” – when they sit in front of their computer all day.

A multiplatform radio landscape needs constant reminders of all the different ways of how to tune in. Most British radio stations include, in their “top of hour”, a reminder of the different platforms you can tune in – online, through your mobile, and so on.

It’s a simple and straightforward way to remind audiences that we’re there, on the right platform, whenever you need us.

Today’s radio is multiplatform: so let’s remind our audiences how to tune in, whenever and however we can. And who knows – perhaps they will.

You can get my weekly newsletter at – and, until next time, keep listening.


About The Author

James Cridland is a radio futurologist, and is Managing Director of, a companion website to radioinfo and AsiaRadioToday.

He has served as a judge for a number of industry awards including the Australian ABC Local Radio Awards, the UK Student Radio Awards, and the UK’s Radio Academy Awards, where he has also served on the committee. He was a founder of the hybrid radio technology association RadioDNS.

James is one of the organisers of, the radio ideas conference each September, and is also on the committee of RadioDays Europe. He writes for publications including his own, Radio World International and RAIN News.

James recently moved from North London to Brisbane with his partner and a two year-old radio-loving toddler. He very, very much likes beer.


Tags: |