Can media’s future be predicted by radio’s past? (Hint: yes)

If you work in the radio industry or just like to listen, here’s a good state-of-the-union look at the medium by radio futurologist James Cridland (Via Medium)

I call myself a radio futurologist. I’m a writer, speaker and analyst concentrating on the future of radio. I’ve worked for the BBC, for Virgin Radio and companies in Europe and the US, helping prepare radio for what’s next.

Now, you might think that radio is yesterday’s technology. Actually, 9 out of 10 of us tune into the radio every week. That makes radio more popular than Twitter, more popular than Facebook, more popular than email, and more popular than the internet itself.

You might think that radio is old-fashioned. But actually, when we tune into the radio at home, we’re more likely to be doing it through a new technology like DAB or the internet than old-fashioned FM. And no wonder, since radio has embraced the mantra of choice, with three times the number of stations on new broadcast platforms than analogue.

You might think its audience is dropping: yet radio is actually seeing record numbers of people tuning in. Ah, you’ll say, but I bet the audience are spending less time with radio. And you’d be right, I admit. Total time spent listening is down. The last ten years have seen the invention of the iPhone, widespread broadband, Facebook, YouTube, 4G and the BBC iPlayer. Yet radio listening is only down by 8%.

Radio is, of course, better than TV.

Keep reading.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38398 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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