MusicDish e-Journal - April 20, 2018
MusicDish Advertising Network
» HOME » INSIDER SCOOP » CAREER TIPS » MUSIC SPOTLIGHT » MUSICDISH*CHINA
» INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS » NEWS BEAT » DIGITAL SKOOL » OPEN REVIEW » MUSICDISH EDELWEISS
Search MusicDish e-Journal (Advanced)
Subscribe To MusicDish e-Journal
About | Contact | Advertise | RSS | Submit Article | Submit News | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution
Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network

Payola Talks, Talent Walks
By Matthew J. Casella
(more articles from this author)
2001-12-17
Comment | Email | Print | RSS

"Wow, commercial FM radio is great!" When was the last time you heard somebody say that? Probably never. It boggles my mind how the American radio listening public seems to unanimously detest the majority of songs and artists they hear over the air waves, yet remain discontentedly complacent.

The fact of the matter remains that 99% of songs you hear on commercial FM radio have been bought and sold. Namely, bought by major record companies and "independent promoters" and sold to commercial FM radio stations. The practice is known as "payola" and is defined as undercover or indirect payment (as to a disc jockey or radio station) for a commercial favor (as in promoting/spinning a particular record). This practice is illegal unless the radio station explicitly informs the listeners that the song they are about to hear is being played in return for financial remuneration.

Have you ever heard this type of disclaimer on an FM radio station? Probably not, since it's only ever been done once in history by an audacious rock station in Portland, Oregon: KUFO 101 FM. The historical event happened February 4, 1998 when KUFO played a taped message announcing, "The song you are about to hear is sponsored by Flip/Interscope" before playing the song "Counterfeit" by rap-rock band, Limp Bizkit. In return for $5,000, KUFO agreed to play the song 50 times. The Limp Bizkit album containing this song went on to go platinum many times over.

So this was a one time deal, right? Guess again. Payola rules radio and it happens all the time unbeknownst to listeners. The bigger the check the more promotion and airplay the artist/band receives. While illegal (without the disclaimer), the US Government, namely the Federal Communications Commission, has seemingly turned a blind eye to the practice.

So what's wrong with payola? Well, for the listener, if you don't mind being a forced-fed pawn in the pockets of FM radio and record labels, then I suppose there is nothing wrong with it. As for the independent artists, whom lack the benefit of a major label with deep pockets guaranteeing your songs will be heard, payola is a death knell.

The FM airwaves are saturated with manufactured pop stars who don't write their own music or even play an instrument (but boy, can they dance). We have payola to thank for this. It's a big money making scheme devoid of honesty, integrity, and mostly, talent.

Additionally exacerbating the problem are the mergers and conglomerations taking place in the music industry. Record companies are buying radio stations and vice versa. Clear Channel Communications is now the biggest radio network in the United States with over 1200 stations and a disproportionately large percentage of the market share. God help us all, or at least the indie artist.

Is there anything you, the listener, can do? Well, besides contacting your local legislators and expressing your discontent, don't listen to FM radio! There are literally thousands of internet radio stations offering honest programming and many are commercial free. Shoutcast (http://www.shoutcast.com) offers a listing of hundreds of internet radio broadcasts covering every genre of music.


Home » Career Tips » Payola Talks, Talent Walks
Permalink:http://www.musicdish.com/mag/?id=4929
Email |Print |Comment |RSS

back | top


MusicDish Advertising Network

Career Tips

» Briony Turner And Alec Boateng Promoted To Co-Heads Of A&R, Atlantic Records UK

» The Nashville Musicians Sound Healthcare Plan Rolls Out

» Career Moves: Cinq Music, Songtrust, Def Jam, Warner Music, 117 Management & DPA

» The Production Music Association Now Accepting Entries For The 2017 Mark Awards

» Aloft Hotels And MTV Spotlight Top Asia Pacific Music Talent

Career Tips Directory



» [2018-04-01] Live.me Launches Its First Live Musical Themed Content Series; You Need The Code Is Live.me's First Ever Live Stream Music Program Providing Users With 14 Hand-selected Independent Artists For Their Entertainment

» [2018-03-28] Warner Music Group Acquires Sodatone; Data Pioneers Choose Entrepreneurial Home For Industry-leading A&R Tool

» [2018-03-09] Round Hill Music And Zync Sign Madge To Joint Venture; JV Publishing Venture To Support And Expand Zync's Successful Rights Representation Business

» [2018-03-03] PPL And PRS For Music Launch Licensing Joint Venture; Licensing Of Music Played In Public Now Administered By New Leicester-based Joint Venture, PPL PRS Ltd

» [2018-02-27] Music Festivals And Conferences Pledge To Tackle Gender Inequality; Keychange Initiative Encourages Gender Balance In Music By End Of 2022

» [2018-02-21] Briony Turner And Alec Boateng Promoted To Co-Heads Of A&R, Atlantic Records UK; Turner And Boateng Will Oversee The Atlantic A&R Team, Joint Projects, As Well As Maintaining Their Own Artist Rosters

» [2018-02-21] ICE And Facebook Reach Multi-Territory Music Licensing Agreement; New Deal Will See Songwriters And Composers Remunerated

» [2018-02-20] B-Reel Named Top 10 Most Innovative Company In Music By Fast Company; Global Creative Agency Receives Honor For Its Award-Winning Gorillaz Campaign

» [2018-02-18] YG PLUS And Gracenote To Bring K-POP To Fans Around The World; Gracenote And YG PLUS To Make All K-POP Music More Searchable And Discoverable On Global And Regional Streaming Music Platforms And Services

» [2018-02-17] VNUE Inc. To Acquire Music Rights Startup Soundstr; VNUE Acquisition Aims To Ensure A Fairer Royalty System

» [2018-02-17] Is Podcasting The New Radio?; 25% Of Surveyed Americans Say They've Listened To A Podcast In The Past Month, Up From Less Than 10% In 2008

» [2018-02-01] Insomniac Announces Inaugural Electric Daisy Carnival China Set To Debut In Shanghai; China Marks EDC's Second Location On The Asian Continent
MusicDish Advertising Network

follow MusicDish on
Follow MusicDish on Twitter

Mi2N Music PR

Carys - A Different Kind Of Normal - Debut CD Release

Melvin Riley Of Ready For The World Celebrates 35 Years In The Music Business And The Re-launch Of His Solo Career And New Billing Title

Listen: Darquise Explores The Art Of The Beak Up In His Debut Single "I Say One"

Artist Matthew Schultz Releases "Promise For Keeps" Featuring Gyptian

Richie Sambora Returns To Ovation Guitars With Signature Double Neck Guitar Benefitting Youth Music Charity

FLOW Announce The Arrival Tour And IMA / ZMR Award Nominations

Joseph L Young Returns To His First Love, The Saxophone, In "Every Moment" Releasing March 30



Websites: Mi2N | MusicDish*China | MusicDish Network | MusicDishTV | Urban Music News Network
Services: Submit Article | Submit News | Submit Video | Artist Development | Premium PR Distribution

Copyright © 1997-2018 MusicDish LLC., all rights reserved.
About MusicDish e-Journal | Contact Us | Advertise | RSS | Internships