Radio Promoters Sue Universal Over Payola Scam

from the this-again? dept

For the past fifty years, the way things get done in the recording industry often involves under the table payments. This isn’t new, and the fact is that, despite it being “banned,” payola scams are still about the only way to get a song on the radio. The only difference these days is that the scam goes through “independent promoters” who often are little more than middlemen to give the record labels a “plausible deniability” excuse to say they weren’t involved in payola scams. However, two such independent promoters are now suing Universal Music Group for forcing them to pad their invoices pretending they’d done promotions for popular artists they’d never come close to promoting. This way, Universal could bill the artists and take the money (which wasn’t actually used to promote them) out of whatever earnings came in. Of course, as some are pointing out, it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for the promoters. They were heavily involved in the payola scam, and only backed out once they were told to pad the invoices — rather than just “honestly” paying off radio stations to play certain artists. Meanwhile, the entertainment industry says that it should be the ones educating our youth on morality.

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