Commissioner O’Rielly Continues His PAYOLA Concerns

Last year FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly sent a letter to RIAA regarding PAYOLA in the music industry. Unsatisfied with RIAA’s answer, Commissioner O”Rielly has just sent a letter to music executives at SONY, Universal and the Warner Music Group.  The problem has been brought to his attention by a number of companies.  In the letter he notes:

“Federal law restricts payola because it can constitute a harmful and anti-competitive practice. Specifically, the exchange of money, service, or other consideration for broadcast airtime without proper notification to the listening public may unfairly manipulate the market or skew the benchmarks that measure the popularity of musical or other entertainment recordings. Such practices, in turn, create unfair financial advantages for some, to the detriment of others. Additionally, artificially and secretly facilitating the commercial success of certain performers—or their management—at others’ expense disadvantages American consumers by undermining access to artists they might otherwise prefer.

Even the most cursory review of consumer complaints and assertions provides cause for concern regarding the persistence of payola. And, in recent months, some artists have responded forcefully against accusations of payola, which speaks to the seriousness of the issue. Yet, there is no shortage of accusations that financial enticement is in some cases driving chart rankings, album and song sales, and commercial success.”

Commissioner O’Rielly continues with a full page of very specific questions to the music executives.  Look for Commissioner O’Rielly to continue his efforts in this area.

To see a Commissioner O’Rielly letter click HERE.


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