Radio Imaging. 20 Years and Counting...
It all started back in April of 1998. Like most entrepreneurs, I had an idea that I thought just MIGHT work. Create a company that served a unique need in the rapidly consolidating industry of radio. Radio Imaging. Try explaining what that is to someone not in radio. I usually describe it as the "stuff you hear between the songs that give a station it's personality." That usually lights up the ole light bulb above their heads with an "Ohhhhh!"
Anyhow, I digress. It's been an interesting ride to say the least. Our first Clear Channel station was KBXX. 97-9 The Box in Houston. That was back when Clear Channel owned their max allowed of 21 stations. Seems like a lifetime ago (Not to mention a name change). Now, that company is about to exit bankruptcy with over 800 stations. We've seen alot of companies sell off/consolidate/change hands. Remember the Jacors? The "Stars" like Gulfstar, Capstar, etc? The NewCity's? The AM/FM's? The Journal's? And so many more.
We've gone from imaging styles of Big and Bold to Less Is More to no production value at all. Now, we are seeing a resurgence of imaging taking on a more musical angle (at least for the music formatted stations). The economic nose dive back in 2008 saw an actual uptick in imaging biz for us because stations couldn't afford to hire the talent, buy the libraries, or even THINK about spending time on anything that didn't immediately turn a profit.
When Digital Sound & Video swung open our doors in 1998, there were MAYBE a half dozen other "guys" doing radio imaging production on the side. Most with a computer and a sound card working from their basement and "borrowing" the libraries from the stations they worked for. Now we are seeing a number of competitors, each with their own unique angle on attracting business.
Yeah, 20 years have seen a lot of things change not only in radio, but radio imaging. This blog is about radio imaging; Past, Present, and Future. We invite an open conversation from the radio community at large, whether you're at a terrestrial station, internet station, satellite radio, or podcast. C'mon in. You're all welcome to share your thoughts and ideas about what we, as radio imaging producers, can do to help you...and each other.
On to the next 20 years!