Sunday, March 16, 2008

College-Run Record Labels as New College Radio? (for Music Industry Hopefuls)

Over on Joe Taylor reflects about college radio (and gives another shout-out to the beloved graveyard shift) and how its role as a starting point for future music biz professionals is changing. He writes:

"When I was in school — and I did have to walk uphill in the snow to get to class, so get off my lawn — the campus radio station was where you had to be if you wanted a career in the music business...These days, with online broadcasting, blogs, and podcasts, it seems like college radio is a ghost town at most schools. As an advisor to students at the University of Pennsylvania for a number of years, I watched it get harder and harder to attract talented students to volunteer radio gigs. After all, who wants to slog through a 3a-7a overnight shift — the radio industry’s unique form of hazing — when you can just whip an hour-long podcast together in about ten minutes using GarageBand?"

Certainly this is another challenge that college radio faces. He goes on to discuss the success of college-run record label Mad Dragon Records at Drexel University, as a point of contrast to college radio in terms of prepping students for careers in music:

"If you’re an enterprising university official, and you want to create a greenhouse for future music business professionals, applying the campus media model to a working record label is a daring and effective move. It’s what Drexel University did in 2003, as a logical progression to an informal growth of music business activity on that campus."

Definitely a cool project!

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