Payola And Its Effect On The Music Industry

What do we understand by "Payola"?

Payola is the practice of bribing someone {Media Stations} in return for the unofficial promotion of a product in the media.

"if a record company spends enough money on payola, it can make any record a hit"

Radio stations now air play songs they are paid for not the ones you want to listen to.

You try to listen to some programs on the radio and each station plays the same songs across all frequency.

We are aware of labels paying radio stations to play their songs, but can we say the majority of those songs are really worth promoting?

The benefactors of this PAYOLA thing is solely the Payer & the Payee, causing a bridge between raising artists and small record labels who can't handle the hefty fees mounted on them.

I contacted an agent whose work is to connect you and these radio stations and believe me when I saw the price list, my heart sank. How do you expect an artist, who is struggling with 100 plays on all Music Platforms to afford that kind of amount for you to play his song?

The Birth of Payola

In the 1920s, Payola was totally legal (still is to an extent), in as much as the fee is paid directly to the media house and the media house must disclose such openly. But sometime in 1959, it became illegal due to a big profile case involving Alan Freed, a top DJ at the time with WABC radio in New York.

Alan Freed was fired after his refusal to sign a statement that he had never collected money to play a song on air. This led to its first court case in 1960, which made the news and subsequently served as references in court judgements.

Payola is punishable by law, citing the case of Sony BMG, one of the biggest record labels in the world, was made to pay $10 million.

Television stations are not left out of this matter, same with Influencers. For you to get you video played on any station, you can't just pay those fees if you are an upcoming artist.

These Media stations and their paying partners all say 'they want the very best for upcoming artist, they all come out to say they did something for the industry', meanwhile, all they do is enrich their pockets.

That's why when you tune in to a music video station, or you listen to the radio on, you come online on your social media, you see almost the same type of music and artists everywhere. How do the Rising ones grow?

Why do Record labels result to PAYOLA?

In the music industry, numbers and saturation is Key, so these big labels and artists results to pay their way to get these numbers and saturation by flooding their music airwaves so big corporations would take notice of them and still make more money.

Forgetting the fact that there are upcoming artists who need platforms to make airwaves but have little and no resources to push their music.

Payola kills competition in the music business because how can an upcoming act compete "money wise" with a big act, even if the upcoming is far better than the big act?

(I really hope this issue gets addressed and is thrashed)

Our Upcoming Acts are really trying very hard to push their art but when it comes to settling your way to move higher, if the resources were available, then it can be met, but this is NIGERIA!


By HighMarcus

From: Nigeria


Instagram: @highmarcus_

Twitter: @HighMarcuswords