FCC's Payola Settlement Will Be a Boon To Internet Radio
As was widely anticipated, the FCC has just announced a settlement with four national radio broadcast companies on charges of accepting cash and merchandise from record companies in exchange for airplay.
How does this affect tech? Well, since a fair chunk of the 1,653 radio stations owned by these companies often simulcast their broadcasts on the Internet... well, you get the idea.
There will be a $12.5 million fine and a promise to be good.
But there's even better news.
"A separate agreement was negotiated by the American Association of Independent Music and the radio groups," the Associated Press notes. "In that deal, the broadcasters agreed to provide 8,400 half-hour segments of free airtime for independent record labels and local artists.
The AP further reports that the free airtime, between 6 a.m. and midnight, would be granted to companies not owned or controlled by the four largest music labels - Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI Group. CBS will provide 800 hours, Citadel 1,300, Clear Channel 1,600, and Entercom 500, according to a list obtained by The Associated Press.
"Payola hurts musicians, the radio industry and the free flow of creative talent because music is chosen on the basis of who can pay the most - not who sounds the best," said FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, a prime mover in getting this deal done. "While this settlement is not a panacea to all payola woes, it requires the implementation of certain meaningful reform measures that should change corporate practices and behavior."
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