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'Pay for Play' and 'Independent Radio Promotion' practices worry music coalition
By Jon Newton,
(more articles from this author)
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - May 24, 2002

Ten US music industry organizations with an extremely interesting 'membership' make-up are calling for a "comprehensive review" of aspects of the radio industry they say are, "anti-artist, anti-competition and anti-consumer."

Describing themselves as a, "diverse coalition representing performing artist groups, labor, record labels, merchandisers, songwriters, community broadcasters, consumers and citizens advocates," the group is made up of: American Federation of Musicians (AFM); American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA); Association for Independent Music (AFIM); Future of Music Coalition (FMC); Just Plain Folks; Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI); National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM); National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB); Recording Academy; and, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

"We are deeply concerned about payola and payola-like practices, as well as the problems caused by radio station ownership consolidation, and the vertical integration of station ownership with venue ownership and concert promoters," they say in a joint statement. "New rules must be written by the FCC to prohibit payments to radio stations from 'independent promoters' unless such payments are announced.

"The FCC must seriously evaluate whether a radio station is even satisfying the current license requirement that sponsorship identification or disclosure must accompany any material that is broadcast in exchange for money, service, or anything else of value paid to a station, either directly or indirectly. The FCC should also consider whether radio stations are serving the public interest by contributing to localism and independence in broadcasting. Finally, Congress must be vigilant in ensuring that the FCC is upholding the public interest in all of these matters."

Specifically, the group wants payments made to radio stations designed to "influence playlists (other than legitimate and reasonable promotional expenses)" to be prohibited, unless the payments are announced over the air, "even when such intent is subtle and disguised." This wold includes payments made through independent radio promoters.

It's also asking for an investigation of the impact of, "recent unprecedented increases in radio ownership consolidation on citizens and the music community';

An examination of the way vertical integration of ownership in broadcasting, concert promotion companies and venues, "decreases fair market competition for artists, clubs and promotion companies"; and,

That policies that protect non-commercial space in the radio bandwidth and in the emerging webcasting models be enacted, "securing the benefits of programming diversity for the music community and citizens."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Joint Statement From Music Industry Coalition On Current Issues In Radio

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