⚡️ James Cridland - radio futurologist

by James Cridland


A regular audio column with the most interesting news about radio's future. James is a radio futurologist - a writer, speaker and consultant concentrating on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business across the world.

Recent Episodes

⚡️ 2022-05-06

All the notes at

⚡️ 2022-04-05

All the links, and a random picture of a radio station in Los Angeles, here:

⚡️ jrc-mar-7

Links and a picture of beer here:

⚡️ jrc-feb-28

Lots of links here:

⚡️ jrc-feb-14

Links to everything here:

⚡️ jrc-feb-4

Links! Here!

⚡️ jrc-jan-28

All the links here:

⚡️ The BBC's fight against stupid

You can read this rant, and the bits after, at:

⚡️ Radio vs Spotify - some data

All the links, and plenty more, at

⚡️ Infinite Dial UK results, and 'Local BBC Radio'

Find all the links over here -

⚡️ An Infinite Dial for the UK at last

Here are the show notes -

⚡️ More talk! Less music!

Here - find the show notes over here...

⚡️ Radio is a hit for car drivers

You'll be wanting for the links!

⚡️ The UK's new radio figures

Links and more at

⚡️ The CRA's good week

Read all the links and stuff here:

⚡️ Behind the Chris Evans Radio 1 breakfast show

Over at is the links and the text, where I talk about a new podcast I found

⚡️ The people who don't listen to radio on a radio

The links and more are over here:

⚡️ Global makes a global hiring; female voices and the radio

You'll find all the links and things over here:

⚡️ Why the words we use matter

You'll find all the links over here -

⚡️ Who owns Inside Radio? And a syndicated show with a difference

Read this over here:

⚡️ Switzerland to turn off FM radio - the campaign to save it

All the links are all over here:

⚡️ Podcasts on your radio; radio in your Deezer; listeners on the air

Links and more over here:

⚡️ The future of radio in Africa; and more stations in Belgium

Links and more at

⚡️ Jono Coleman, and talkRADIO becomes a TV channel

Jono Coleman OAM died last week. Best known in the UK for the Virgin Radio breakfast show with (Russ Williams), he was also on GLR, Heart 106.2, LBC (no, really), BBC London 94.9 and tradies favourite FIX Radio. While the BBC snootily relegated him to a (local news story) (and called his co-presenter “Russell Williams”), Jono’s death was quite rightly bi...

⚡️ Who cares? Plus, Audacy's 350 new stations

Links and things are at

⚡️ Numbers from Nielsen; Ed Sheeran; terms and conditions

Links and full text is at

⚡️ Conferences, trust, and radio in the car has links to all the stories mentioned here.

⚡️ Goodbye, and keep listening

Goodbye, and keep listeningA lot has happened since November 2014. At the time, I was working in the roof - quite literally. My office space was in a room that was so illegal, when I bought the house they weren’t allowed to call it a room, even though it had stairs leading up to it. In the winter months it could be made quite warm, since there wasn’t much of it. The room was the top of the house and you could just about stand up in it, if you bent your head and you stayed right in the midd...

⚡️ At Radio Alive, things are changing

I'm over at

⚡️ Confessions of a radio ad writer

Why don't programme directors pull more ads? And why are some of them still so bad?

⚡️ The misguided quest for control

I'm over at and so should you be

⚡️ Reminding listeners how to tune in, in a multiplatform world

I once sat at the end of a telephone line, helping people tune into their favourite radio station. This was a real eye-opener. Many don’t even know the difference between AM and FM; and some sets are marked in strange ways to make it really hard to tune in. You probably know someone who have tuned in to their favourite radio station and never want you to touch their set in case they lose it forever. Radio is, increasingly, available everywhere. But we don’t appear to be telling people where we are and how to tune in. And I fi...

⚡️ 5G - the future of radio?

I'm at

⚡️ 40 years of lazy Buggles headlines

It's 40 years since Trevor Horn wrote this song

⚡️ Visually augmented audio - is it our future?

Something called (BBC Notes) was posted on the BBC’s Research and Development blog the other week. It’s a web app “that shows text, images, and links, to enhance the listening experience during live events, live broadcasts, and on demand”. There are quite a lot of these types of thing appearing. (Entale) is a podcast app which is trying to do the same - when you listen to, say, Serial then you see the places they’re talking about, and maps, and links to discover more and all of...

⚡️ Google and Facebook and the power of radio

As Google knows, I’m in Kuala Lumpur today, in Malaysia. Google knows exactly where I am. It knows where I was yesterday; what airline I used to travel here; what news stories I read this morning; what’s in my diary for tomorrow. It knows what music I listen to, what shops I visit, who I email, when I email, how much money I have in the bank, what time I go to bed, what time I wake up, when I have a coffee, what rate my heart is beating. Google knows what medical problems I have, and what medi...

⚡️ Podcast Movement 2019

Recently, I was at Podcast Movement in Orlando. It’s the largest podcast event in the world, I’d think, with a variety of tracks covering almost everything you needed to know about podcasting. The event grows each year. Podcasting is increasingly serious business, with both Spotify and Google on the show floor this year, and Pandora also being very visible throughout the event (not least, providing rather lovely laptop stickers in every bag). Apple were at the event, too, but in an invite-only, super-secret session only for the elite few. Arguably, they don’t need to remind podcasters that they e...

⚡️ Cockroaches

Cockroaches, eh? Radio is a bit like them. Kind of.

⚡️ Live radio doesn't work on headphones

Radio is consumed differently on headphones than speakers. Here's new data.

⚡️ Music logs can be better

Music logs can help presenters if done right

⚡️ The AM radio station that's number two

4KQ - an AM station - is doing well in Brisbane

⚡️ Hearing the voice of your listener

Hearing the voice of your listener Johannesburg, South Africa, is a place like no other to hold a radio conference, and I was privileged to be at Radio Days Africa recently on their tenth anniversary. Radio is an important part of life in Africa generally. Radio reaches people who cannot read or write; and plays the part of an educator in many parts of the continent. Here’s the excellent (Steve Martin from the BBC talking about radio in Africa) from 2013. It’s a good overview in how progessive African radio stations are...

⚡️ The radio station making money from podcasts

Radio TOK FM is one of the most listened-to radio stations in Warsaw, Poland, owned by Agora Radio Group. A news and talk station with over 40 journalists, the station is doing something unusual: charging for podcasts. Jarosław Śliżewski, the company’s Chief Digital Officer, says that six years ago, a decision was made to focus on on-demand content. Now, listeners pay a monthly fee to gain access to over 65,000 pieces of on-demand audio from the station, including catch-up shows and exclusive digital-only content. Pricing is set at US$3.90 a month for access via the web, though over half of th...

⚡️ Three podcasts we can learn from

At the recent Podcast Day in London, I was asked to share three of my favourite podcasts, and as always I decided to slightly subvert the brief to really be three podcasts that we can learn from. (Reasons to Be Cheerful), with Geoff Lloyd and Ed Miliband, (produced by Emma Corsham) was my first choice. Ed Miliband used to be the leader of the Labour party in the UK, and he came across as a deeply awkward, barely human and really quite unlikeable person. But the intimate nature of podcasting has changed all that to me...

⚡️ Apple’s changing podcasting: but is it theirs to change?

Apple are making some changes. You’ve probably heard about iTunes going away. In truth, this means little - iTunes “went away” on iPhones a long time ago, and this latest change is just replacing iTunes with three separate apps on the Mac. If you run a Windows machine, iTunes continues as normal. Apple have asked you not to talk about podcasts “being on iTunes” for the last 18 months anyway. But there are also some changes to Apple Podcasts categories - the genres and names you use to navigate through podcasts. And those changes, (which I list her...

⚡️ Let’s stop deluding ourselves about the FM chip in phones

In Canada recently, I heard a little bit of history - or, so it seemed to me. Radio executives were openly banging the drum for FM chips in phones: an argument I thought was long since dead. You can understand why this discussion is still live in Canada. Some research I did about (mobile phone data costs) seems to point to Canada being exceptionally expensive for mobile data. In comparison to Australia (roughly the same population and land mass), Canadians pay almost FIVE TIMES MORE for a monthly plan that gives a THIRD LESS DATA...

⚡️ Where should a radio station be?

Something fun is happening in my home town of Brisbane, Australia - some of our radio stations are on the move. Top 40 station Hit 105 and rock station Triple M lived in buildings in North Quay next to the river, where they’ve been for the last twenty years. They’re moving two minutes’ walk away, up the hill to Petrie Terrace, a new entertainment district with a cinema, restaurants, and next to Caxton Street, one of Brisbane’s oldest entertainment streets with bars, pubs and clubs. It’s just a minute’s walk away from Suncorp stadium, the city’s sports and ent...

⚡️ For internet radio, there may be trouble ahead

There’s trouble for vTuner, the heritage company used by many manufacturers as an internet radio directory. On May 1, vTuner’s service apparently (fell over for eleven hours), and Frontier Silicon, who used the vTuner service for their internet radio modules (used by people like Roberts, Grundig and others) switched just a week later to (a different provider) - ca...

⚡️ Radio’s biggest strength and worst enemy: habit

Typically, when I speak at conferences, I start by pointing out how popular radio is. 9 out of 10 of us listen to the radio in any given week - whether you live in Boston Massachusetts, Boston England, or Boston in South Australia. (Probably. The last one doesn’t have radio statistics, but Brisbane’s 9 out of 10 too.) Podcasting? At best, 2 out of 10; and lower in many countries. Given the amount of change to the media landscape, why does radio do so well? I think a lot of it is due to habit. We’ve always listened to radio. It’s a habit to...

⚡️ Is AM Radio's future all-digital?

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