Does Payola still exist in the music business on Commercial Radio

What is Payola in the music business?

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I don’t hear of it much anymore as most artist are now using digital promotions offered by music marketing agencies but it does still exist in the big labels relationships with popular commercial Djs.

Podcast Report coming up:

FYI: What payola means?

Undercover or indirect payment (as to a licensed disc jockey) for a commercial favor (as for promoting a particular recording) .

Payola, in the music industry, is the illegal practice of paying a commercial radio station to play a song without the station disclosing this information. …

The number of times the songs are played can influence the perceived popularity of a song, and payola may be used to influence these metrics.

Typically traditional radio stations are forced to only play those same songs over and over again because they are the most successful in getting listeners to stop on their station as they channel surf in the car. Sad fact, but recognizable songs hold listeners and engaged listeners attract advertisers. Advertisers pay for the existence of the station.

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The reason why repetition is necessary…

Repetition will make you like a song even more but if you can’t get it declared as popular, then it never gets the rotation on commercial radio. This is why Payola on this side of the industry became a practice of labels and commercial radio DJs.

Although I rarely see a story about it anymore, pay-for-play on commercial radio continues to be a common practice in the radio business, with money or goods passing from the record labels to the radio station Djs to influence airplay of mainstream artists.

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How do artists get paid royalties?

There are thousands of radio stations out there, each playing hundreds of songs every single day and at such a scale the direct payment system just doesn’t work. So, the PROs (Performing Rights Organizations) act as a middleman of sorts, doing the administrative work of collecting performance royalties and distributing them to proper artists or their representatives (and taking a cut in the process).

Now, the way that the process is set up is very intricate and also market-specific. In some countries, both the recording artists (owners of the master copyright) and the songwriters (owners of the composition copyright) earn royalties when their songs (and composition) are played on the radio. Then, on each respective side of the music copyright, there’s local legislation dictating who gets paid what. Source: soundcharts

Recording artists and sound recording owners must be registered with SoundExchange in order to receive digital performance royalties for the use of their sound recordings on non-interactive platforms like SiriusXM, Pandora, and iHeart Radio. If you are a sound recording owner or a recording artist who has not registered with SoundExchange, then you can use the search tool below to see if you are owed royalties.

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Apple, Spotify And Other DSPs Pay $424 Million In Unmatched Royalties For Publishers, Songwriters


The Mechanical Licensing Collective has received a total of $424.38 million in accrued historical unmatched royalties from digital service providers, together with corresponding data reports that identify the usage related to these royalties.

Written by Jacqueline Jax

AVA Live Radio

Podcast on making 300k a year in music..

Radio Host @AVALIVERADIO ❤️ Journalist ❤️ I write for people who expect more from life and strive to improve their mindset. You’ll find inspiration here.

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