Payola making a comeback

Back in the heydays of the the music business when Elvis was young, the Twist was the best dance around and Radio ruled it was nothing to see piles of money and drugs changing hands as DJ’s with a wink and a nod played what the record companies wanted played. It was the age of payola and the record companies loved it because they were making money hand over fist – at least until it was brought to a screeching halt after a number of scandals made the news.

Now of course the basic premise here is that it was the record companies that were in control of the whole payola scheme in order to make themselves richer so let’s fast forward to today and find that once again payola is once again rearing its ugly head, This time though it isn’t the record companies behind what is being termed as pay-for-play but rather web companies suggesting that this is the ideal outlet for up and coming artists

Earlier this week, Jango introduced a new program called Artist Airplay that offers a very straightforward proposition: the more you pay, the more you’ll get played on Jango’s Web radio stations. If enough listeners vote that they like you, you’ll get placed into regular rotation.

Source: cnet news

While Matt Rosoff at cnet writes about how bad of a deal something like Jango is for the artist one should point out that this is no different than the pay-for-post idea that has been plaguing the tech blogosphere and prompted more than bitchmeme. Just as with the blogosphere this kind of buying of content is wrong and I sincerely hope this – and any company that tries to copy the idea – ends up in the deadpool.

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