Are radio companies making good on payola retribution?


No they are not, according to the Future of Music Coalition. Several radio groups entered into consent decrees with the FCC following the payola actions initiated by then NY-AG, now disgraced ex-governor Eliot Spitzer. As part of that, they promised to air a certain amount of independent and local musicians. FMC says it isn’t happening. Along with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), FMC has released the “Payola Education Guide” and filed comments with the FCC.

FMC says “recent evidence casts serious doubts on broadcasters’ commitment to placing local and independent music in regular rotation.”

It says that although 80% of recorded music released in the US comes from independent labels, they receive only a 30% market share, and that releases from the big four label groups still dominate the airwaves. They further note that the door is still open for payola-type practices due to lack of transparency in the song selection process.

"In an era where information and entertainment have become increasingly globalized, it’s all the more important that local broadcasters who operate within communities on the public airwaves consider local interests," said FMC Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz. "Local and independent musicians are being foreclosed from radio, to the detriment of communities across the country."

FMC is pushing four regulatory goals to improve the situation: * Prevent further radio consolidation; * Expand and protect community radio; * End structural payola; and * Ensure the transition to HD radio benefits musicians and the public.