Radio Stations Want To Start Charging Musicians To Play Their Songs...

There’s a group in the US lobbying for a policy that could eventually see musicians being forced to pay to have their music aired on radio.

A group of major broadcasters in the US right now are pushing the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to have the “disclosure rules” removed when it comes to paid programming, allowing for a potential free-flow of sponsored music to flood the sonic airwaves of America, virtually unbeknownst to listeners, as The New York Times reports.

The group, consisting of the likes of iHeartMedia, Cox, Emmis Communications and Entercom are petitioning to have the disclosure that’s announced before a song that has been paid to be played to be removed and instead shifted to a website where interested listeners can look-up what songs played on radio were paid for, and what weren’t.

This group are pushing for this change as they believe “it would result in listeners’ having access to more information in a more user-friendly and satisfying way.”

Naturally, the broadcasters have been met with plenty of opposition.

If this action went ahead there’s great opportunity for any major company to buy-up all the airtime, which could see a radio station simply play music dictated by a major record company who are trying to push their own artists, which is basically the definition of broadcast music’s great scandals – payola.

Chief executive of the Future of Music Coalition, Casey Rae, commented on this, “If this were to happen, it would seal the deal for commercial radio just being a closed system for large media companies to promote their products.”

If something like this were to occur, major labels would be able to squeeze out any independent or smaller artist that can’t afford to have their music played on radio, prohibiting any opportunity for up-and-coming musicians to have their music heard, or, forcing the little guys of music who don’t have major label representation to fork out their own money to receive any airplay.

Although this is currently only an issue for those in the US, one of the major broadcast companies, iHeartRadio, also operates within Canada, the UK, and Australia, and if something like this were to go ahead, it could very well trickle into other broadcast systems too.

Click here to read the petition and for a more, in-depth discussion of the pressing issue – check out The New York Times piece.


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