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middle man | The price of radio airplay


Ever wonder why you don't hear many talented independent artist on the mainstream radio? What we hear on the radio is not a matter of talent but how much you are willing to pay-for-play. Billboard recently shined a spotlight on this practice in a recent issue " Why Indie Artist are a Rarity on Radio"... the story highlights the disadvantages Indie labels have in comparison to major labels. This practice is highly known through out the industry as Payola and although its illegal, its how labels get music on the airwaves through a middle man known as a radio promoter. In 1934 congress implemented the Communications act, prohibiting non-disclosed payments to commercial radio stations for particular recordings. In section 317 it even states that radio stations should take action on their employees to ensure compliance. These laws were implemented to make sure its fair game between independent and major labels. Some lobbyist and Independent label executives is calling for investigations into these practices. In 2007 four major radio chains pledged to play more independent music but very little has changed. Just last year major labels made up 85% of Billboards Radio Song Charts. Radio play is a huge factor when measuring the success of an artist . Unless you have a budget of 200k or more, its best to dominate other ways of gaining popularity. This is why independent record labels have little impact on the major airways. Last year independent artist generated a whopping 6.5 billion in revenue. Independent labels and artist continue to push through the glass ceilings of the music industry dominating streams, licensing and social media. How much are you willing to pay for airplay?


Photo used - Getty Images

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