The Future Is Bright

Staff Writer

In one of the afternoon sessions at the CRA conference the subject was ‘The Best Ideas from Radio across the World’ by James Cridland who refers to himself as a ‘radio futuroligist’, and has a long background in digital radio in the UK.

Here are a few of the comments that James made in his presentation this afternoon on the Gold Coast.

How many people are listening to radio per town each week?

  • U.K. 89.9%
  • Brisbane 91.8%
  • USA 93.0%

So they are listening, but the way is changing. In Mumbai 94% listen to a radio via a mobile phone.

In the UK: 

  • 53% happens via AM or FM
  • 6.4% Online or Apps
  • 4.7% Digital TV
  • 26.7% DAB radio


The new trend is pop up stations that last for a few days to weeks. We’ve seen similar attempts in Australia on DAB, like the Christmas stations. Overseas there was a station following the Oscar Pistorius court case. And BBC Radio 2 turned their station into a four day country station, all highly publicised for a short period of time with listenership close to half a million people.


Absolute Radio has technology to add live voice breaks from DJs who’d press play on the next song, which would be broadcast on 10 stations, all playing different music. So the same DJs are heard on numerous formats while each individual channel can play their own music, ads and sponsor spots, whilst utilising great onair talent to service many stations at once.


Radio is now offering tv channels that run on the same platform and alongside as radio streaming. All the songs have their matching film clips loading into streaming and when a song is playing on traditional platforms, likely FM, the film clip will then play at the same time on available screens.

Additional pictures that match the radio signal/show and format will be a thing of the future. Stations are now dedicating visual channel to have cameras on the on air radio talent whilst they do their shows live.


These stations play local and national News Bulletins that are coded depending on where the mobile phone is located. News stories are pre-recorded en masse from a central location and your phone will add more or less stories depending on what you’re searching for over a period of time. The phone will determine what you like and what they think you’ll want more of.

RIVET RADIO (much like Omni)

Stations take pieces of content from all over the world and personalise stations that put in your favourite DJs, and adds the music you want to hear, and not the music stations try and force you to hear.


Is looking good, with still heaps of people tuning into radio worldwide. The future is looking brighter for stations with great, unique , compelling content.

Stations that build a hill by playing 10 songs in a row may be in trouble in years to come.

The way we tune in is changing, but the platform we deliver isn’t a major concern, again, it’s the content that matters. When next rebuilding radio studios allow for cameras to record the great content you broadcast for utilising later for future online uploads.


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