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Friday, September 25, 2015
Pay For Play Infiltrates Online Playlists
This is what many in the industry call "Playola" (named after the old payola practice of illegally paying a DJ for airplay on the radio), and is yet another way that an established label, manager, or artist gets a one-up on the indie artist.
Believe it or not, the practice is legal, and even if it weren't it would be difficult to police. It's easy for a label or promotion company to slip $100 (or way more) to a blogger with a hot playlist for "consulting" without anyone being none the wiser.
While a small blogger might only cost that much, owners of popular playlists with hundreds of thousands of followers cost considerably more, with a six week campaign going anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, according to an article in Billboard.
This is one area of the music business that most of us thought was still pristine and untouched by big money, but I guess that's too idealistic a vision.
That said, Spotify is taking a stand and forbidding its playlist owners from taking money from outside sources, which is an excellent reason to keep supporting it.