Where Did All The Industryites Go?

Sean Ross is Edison Research’s Vice President of Music and Programming. A longtime industry observer, Ross works with Edison’s radio and music industry clients, offering strategic analysis and music knowledge that goes beyond the numbers.

Where Did All The Industryites Go?

Postby radiofan » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:51 am

Where Broadcasters Landed, Who Disappeared, And What It Says About The Industry

By Sean Ross (@RossOnRadio)

In the radio and music business, a contacts list is never just names and e-mail addresses. Even when radio and music were at their least volatile, any industry person’s address book was a testament to a business in constant flux. Rolodex cards (back when they were rolodex cards) often had contact information scratched out and updated by hand not once, but several times.

Then, in 2009, the economy’s scariest times exacerbated trends that were already happening in our industries. That year, a dismaying number of radio friends stopped having industry addresses and became part of a growing “Gmail Nation.” On the record side, ad hoc indie labels or rent-a-labels sprang up to take advantage of both the label and artist talent that was suddenly available. It wasn’t uncommon, especially in Nashville, to update somebody’s business e-mail address a few times a year.

I wasn’t looking for trends when I set out to update my Outlook contacts last February. It was both a long-delayed housekeeping task and an attempt to get back in touch with some industry friends. Instead, it took nearly a year of outreach during off-hours. In doing so, I cleared out about 15% of my address book – not just people who’ve left radio, the music industry, or music journalism, but people who weren’t easily found at all. The missing names and some of the people I reconnected with say a lot about how, and how much, our industries have changed.

I caught up with a lot of people on LinkedIn, with some help from the industry directory at AllAccess.com (and, to a lesser extent, other social media). LinkedIn was best for finding those people not currently at a radio station or a record label—some of whom had been through major career changes since their most recent “formerly of … ” listing in All Access. All Access was best for tracking down radio people with common names, of the sort not easily winnowed down in LinkedIn. Also for finding people with names like “DJ D-Structo.”

What I found was alternately dismaying and encouraging. The contraction of the broadcast and music industries is already pretty well evident. The encouraging part was seeing how many radio and music people had made seemingly positive transitions. For some, anyway, there was definitely life after radio. But it was dismaying to see exactly which sections of the industry had the greatest professional instability.

Read the full article at: http://www.musicmaster.com/?p=5324&refe ... paid-media
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