Three years ago I listened to the radio basically every single hour I was awake. On the car ride to work, in the office we would flick on Triple J, on the way home from work and then as background noise whilst spending hours cleaning the kitchen every night. I felt as though I had developed close relationships with the announcers and although I wasn’t keen on most of them they still managed to get some form of reaction out of me.
I guess my hours of listening to the FM frequency had something to do with the fact that that is where my career started, working in radio. I used to not only listen for entertainment but as a way of learning about the industry and also a way of discovering any errors that may have occurred that I would have to amend when returning back to the station the next morning.
I look back on my time in this industry with fond memories although I can distinctly remember the immense pressure that was put on me and the minuscule pay cheques I would receive each month. I felt it was important to make myself as valuable as possible in order to gain the most from this experience, however as the months dragged on I soon learnt that in this industry that can mean sacrificing every other aspect of your life. I started writing news which meant I was in the office every Sunday. I started doing my own shows which meant 5am starts on Saturday. I was heavily involved in promotions which meant the rest of my weekend was taken over. I took a keen interest in audio production which resulted in sometimes doing two jobs for weeks AND I grew close relationships with many clients which made me feel imposed to spend the little amount of cash I earned on their products.
Now that my career in radio is well and truly behind me I look as this industry and worry. Who really listens to the radio these days? With the introduction of radio alternatives every day we can create our own stations online that play just the music we want to. If we do want to hear some hosts having a chat or doing an interview we can get the podcasts directly to our phones and listen to just them. I think of the people who aspire to work in radio like I once did and wonder in ten years’ time how will they break into the industry if there are one tenth of the stations around that their used to be.
It’s funny how quickly things can change. Two years ago I had never heard of Spotify and now it’s all I listen to…