Friday, September 25, 2015

Pay For Play Infiltrates Online Playlists

Playola image
Just when you thought that the record business couldn't get any sleazier comes this. Record labels are now paying some big dollars to influence online playlists of streaming services.

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.

1 comment:

Peter McDonald said...

Spotify can take stand against it all they want but how will they even have a chance of knowing if the playlist owner was paid.

Looks like lip service tbh


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