1) Payola is Music Biz Prostituion. Pimps and hoes (radio and record labels) run this game and, of course, it's all about money. Music doesn't matter. Artists don't matter. Music fans don't matter. The playing field of payola is the vile and corrupt music industry. Keeping music fans unaware, keeping artists scared, and keeping radio's pockets fat are what's keeping this bulls**t alive and well.
If you or anyone that you know want's a career in the music industry, please read what I have written below. I hate to say it, but all of the time and effort and money that you have spent trying to become a great artist or musician may get you NOWHERE because of the amount of corruption in the music industry. You need to know the truth, and here it is. Spread the word!
2) In the music industry, "payola" is when record labels (and their middlemen) pay radio to play songs and to play those songs over and over WITHOUT disclosing the fact that the songs were paid for to the radio's listeners. Payola is illegal, and it's unfair to both artists and music fans.
"Pay for play" is different than "payola". "Pay for play" is when a radio station gets paid to play a song on the radio, but discloses to its listeners the fact that the song was paid for. "Pay for play" is legal, but it rarely happens because most radio stations aren't stupid enough to disclose the fact that they care more about getting paid to play a song than they care about playing a song because it's a great song.
Both "payola" and "pay for play" are conflicts of interests. In other words, both put people in a position to do the "wrong" thing because they will personally benefit from doing the wrong thing.
For example, if a record label bribes a radio station $10,000 to play a CRAPPY song, and another record label doesn't bribe the radio station to play an EXCELLENT song, ninety percent of the radio stations WILL TAKE THE MONEY AND PLAY THE CRAPPY SONG...OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
A lot of radio stations FORCE record labels (and their middlemen) to bribe them to play songs so both radio and the record labels are at fault.
Some naive people don't see the problem with payola. You may ask "Well how is radio supposed to make money?". Radio makes its money from its sponsors. That's just the way it goes. Some folks try and justify payola by saying that DJ's don't get paid enough money. That doesn't give them the right to ruin today's music, to screw over truly talented artists or to scam music fans. Get another job, but don't scam the public! "Payola" money is "greedy" money. Radio stations and record labels do NOT own the airwaves. The airwaves belong to the public.
You may think that radio stations are just playing the songs that its listeners request. Absolutely not! That's just what they want you to ASSUME, and most listeners get caught in the trap. They think that because a radio station plays a song over and over that most people must like the song. Record labels and radio count on the fact that sometimes unsuspecting listeners will force themselves into liking a song (that they don't like) just because they believe that a lot of other listeners like it. It's a trap, and peer pressure is a bitch.
Payola is Music Biz Prostitution..plain and simple The big boys in the music industry will NEVER do anything to stop payola because it keeps their pockets fat. Artists will never do anything to stop payola because most artists are very dependent on the SNAKES in the music industry.
Music fans are the key to fighting payola. Music fans are our ONLY HOPE, but most music fans are not aware of payola. Why? Because payola happens on both radio and TV. You're not gonna hear a lot about (the evil whore named)payola on radio or TV because it's their "dirty little secret". And since it's very hard to spread the truth about payola to the masses without the help of radio or TV, they're doing a great job of keeping the public in the dark about the fact that payola even exists.
It can't be emphasized how the VAST, OVERWHELMING percentage of what you are hearing on today's commercial radio and TV (MTV) is because some greedy bastards (from a record label) paid some other greedy bastard who works at a radio or TV station.
If there is a radio station that plays a bunch of crap over and over again, you can bet your bottom dollar that they are a payola infested radio station.
If you think today's music sucks, it's because of payola. It's not because today's artists suck. There are plenty of super talented artists out there who we (music fans) will NEVER know about because those artists are on independent labels who can't afford to bribe radio. Or they are artists who are fed up with all of the corruption in the music industry and refuse to put up with it any longer.
If you love commercial radio, if you love MTV, if you love all of the mainstream music that's out there, remember this: There are probably thousands of artists out there that are twice as good (as the artists that you like)that you will NEVER EVER know about because of payola.
Boycott commercial radio!! If you hear a song on the radio that everyone knows sucks, and radio continues to play that song over and over and over, you know that you've found yourself a "payola" infested radio station who plays "payola" songs.