Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Decade Later

Just for FUN let's set the Peabody and Sherman Way Back Machine to 10 years ago in the world of Radio and Records:

  1. Clear Channel had just purchased Jacor and was getting set to close on AMFM to own over 1,000 stations.  They also owned a large billboard network, TV stations and controlled the Concert/live performance world.  
  2. CCU - stock approaches $100 a share. 
  3. Larry Wilson still owns Citadel which he will sell in a year. 
  4. Cumulus is preparing to expand it's smaller market holdings and is into it's 3rd year. 
  5. XM satellite radio is planning to launch in 18 months. 
  6. The record biz total revenue was over 38 billion for 1999 (it's around 10 billion now
  7. Somewhere at Apple HQ they were drawing up the plans for the IPod which launched in Oct of 2001
  8. Top artists on the CHR charts - Santana, Christina Aguilera, Lonestar, Faith Hill, Blink 182
When you take the Way Back Machine back to the Spring of 2000 it was filled with so much potential.  I remember sitting in an early Clear Channel - AMFM merger meeting and looking around the room in amazement at the talent, the power of 1000 stations in all but 2 or 3 markets in the top 100.  Having 2 or 3 research companies dedicated to the CC stations.  Owning the big talent like Rush, Rick Dees, Bob and Tom, John Boy/Billy, and more.  Owning a full service network with tons of programming resources.  Having 100s of great programmers all dedicated to making a winning company.  

It's too bad we can't just use the Way Back Machine and go back.  What would have happened if we'd tapped all that potential of a Radio industry ready to grow into a nationwide marketing monster, the ability to own enough stations to really build huge revenue with massive cash flow margins.  A record industry poised on a whole new delivery system that could eliminate the need to ship CDs or Tapes all over the world and make music truly portable and on demand.  Instead we all know the realities we face today.  Let's hope when we set the Way Back Machine for 2010 in 10 years the picture is much better than this trip back.   

In case you never saw Sherman and Peabody - 

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