"Radio futurologist" Cridland will give Summit's "feature presentation," then lead mobile panel

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:50pm

Those who follow Internet radio -- like RAIN readers -- are likely familiar with Media UK managing director James Cridland. The self-described "radio futurologist" will give the featured presentation at RAIN Summit Europe (now less than two weeks away).

He was digital media director of Virgin Radio in London, and joined the BBC in 2007 to work on the BBC iPlayer for radio. Since then he's worked with various audio and new media companies (including receiver manufacturer Pure and stream aggregator UK Radioplayer) He organizes the radio conference, and is a founder of hybrid radio tech association RadioDNS.

Cridland's "The Future of Radio: Mobile and Personalised" will examine the medium's future on portable devices, in the context of case studies of broadcasters from all over the world.

Later in the afternoon Cridland (right) will return to moderate a panel discussion on a very similar topic. "Mainstream Mobile" participants will share their views on "best practices" for building listenership on mobile devices and monetizing it.

Two CEOs, both from Germany, join this panel. Based in Hamburg, Christian Richter leads Spoiled Milk, an international digital agency and consultancy on brand management and user experience. Richter (left) is a serial-entrepreneur: he's co-founder of Net radio tuning guide, and also founder of digital and marketing solutions

Holger Weiss is Berlin-based AUPEO! CEO. AUPEO! is personalized Internet radio with over 120 channels, available in over 40 countries. Weiss (right) joined AUPEO! in 2010 after working for Nokia. He's a specialist in business development, contract negotiations, strategic alliances, leadership, and sales. He spoke at RAIN Summit West.

Interestingly, just after RAIN Summit West, came news that AUPEO! had been acquired by Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America and an integrated supplier to the automotive industry in North America) (see RAIN here). Hakan Kostepen (left, who also spoke at RAIN Summit West) is that company's executive director of product, planning & innovation. He's part of the leadership behind the company's in-car integration and development of all Panasonic Company technologies and products to optimize the "in-car user experience." Kostepen was responsible for "industry first" Jaguar S-Type Voice Recognition Infotainment System. He's based in the U.S.

Also an engineer by training, Ulrich Köring (right) is head of new media for Austrian hit music broadcaster Kronehit. There he handles all digital products, including the website, side-channels, podcasts, and social networks. His experience also includes work at Radioszene industry trade magazine.

"Mainstream Mobile's" final panelist is online audio distribution platform Soundcloud VP/business development Dave Haynes (left), from the UK. Soundcloud, originally started in Stockholm, but established in Berlin, launched in 2008 and now boasts over 10 million registered users. Hayes himself is a former DJ who has run a record label, a record store, and worked in digital music distribution. He writes a blog and hosts the OpenMusicMedia meetups in London, and organizes Music Hack Day events.

Limited space is still available for RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at Brussels' Hotel Bloom. All the details, including registration links, are on the RAIN Summit Europe page here.

Engadget gives Ford AppLink "Best in Show"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 1:15pm

Tech news source Engadget awarded "best in show" accolades in nine categories to wrap up its coverage of the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Engadget's winner for "Best in Automotive" went to the Ford AppLink developer program for its SYNC in-dash system -- for which Ford selected jacAPPS as their House Developer for radio apps (see RAIN's coverage here).

JacAPPS is the division of Jacobs Media launched in 2008 to produce mobile apps for broadcasters (and other categories). They've created more than 750 apps for brands like WTOP/Washington, D.C., KIRO/Seattle, WEEI/Boston, WGN/Chicago, and 91X/San Diego.

"It is Ford's developer program that shows the most potential, however, enabling developers to easily upgrade their existing smartphone apps to interact with the company's SYNC AppLink," Engadget said. "Most important: it's totally free."

As James Cridland explains in MediaUK, "For a while (with Ford's SYNC), the only apps that you could control were the big ones - presumably iHeart Radio, Pandora, TuneIn, those types of things. Now, though, they're opening this up to any individually-branded app. So, if you've your own app, your station, too, can be in the 'home screen' of the car dashboard - and control your app through voice commands and the buttons on the steering-wheel. That's massive: since it opens up the car dashboard to anyone who wants to be there. Including your station."

See all of Engadget's CES "best in show" choices here. Read more from Cridland here. offers great music research for radio, says Cridland

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 3:15pm

Radio "futurologist" James Cridland blogs today that's "scrobbling" can offer radio great insight in to current trends in music.

The cornerstone of the service is the "audio scrobbling" -- the collection of users' music listening details (from various sources) that enables to see and understand what's popular and to whom -- "a goldmine for music programmers."

Cridland suggests using data to see which artists are trending with listeners, and "if you scrobble your station into it, it'll also show you songs you're not playing but should be." Read Cridland's blog here.

Next Radio conference posts last two years' worth of content for free viewing

Friday, November 2, 2012 - 11:10am

James Cridland and Matt Deegan, who've organized the Next Radio conference in London the past two Septembers, have made available video of the presentations from both installments of their event for free online. 

Cridland tells us it's "all bitesized chunks of excellent radio ideas from the UK, including some award-winning podcasters. And all for free. Great radio is great radio, wherever it is..."

We're looking forward to digging in to it this weekend. Take a look yourself here.

Cridland explains his definition of "adding visuals to radio"

Friday, February 24, 2012 - 11:00am

"I’m specifically not talking here about video," self-christened Radio Futurologist James Cridland blogs. "I’m talking about things that allow audiences to engage when they want to, and discover more about what they’re listening to."

Cridland's long promoted the idea that digital media allows for a "visual radio" experience. But in his recent blog post, he contrasts his thinking against that of a video/television approach. "Stuff that enhances a radio broadcast – stuff that can be completely automatable, and stuff that reflects what’s on that radio station," he explains. "It’s not television."

What Cridland's after is more along the lines of Capital FM on the Radioplayer (here). "Static slides appear containing news, travel information, now-playing stuff, weather, pictures of the DJs, and more glanceable information," writes Cridland. Another example, BBC Radio 1's homepage (here)."As you listen, more information appears to let you learn more about what you’re hearing. Images of songs, tweets and Facebook messages from the audience, promotion of other things on the station, and links to video and more. Once more, it’s glanceable information that allows more interaction when you’ve the time to do so."

Read Cridland's blog here.

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