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Musician’s Advocacy Groups Say Payola Situation Is No Better

The commission should collect and track playlists, it says.

“Little has changed.”

That’s what the Future of Music Coalition says about payola in the radio industry.

The group, along with the American Association of Independent Musicians, says not much has changed since the FCC approved voluntary agreements between radio groups and major labels in April of last year.

“Although the voluntary agreements and the set-asides for independent artists acknowledged the problem, recent evidence casts serious doubts on broadcasters’ commitment to placing local and independent music in regular rotation,” the two groups wrote.

FMC Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz says local and independent musicians “are being foreclosed from radio, to the detriment of communities across the country” and that lack of transparency in song selection at commercial stations leaves the door open for payola.

In reply comments in the localism proceeding, FMC said the FCC should collect playlist data so it can track and analyze playlists in order to ensure that stations fulfill their public interest obligations.