It looks like the big US radio holdings have bought their way out of the “pay-for-play” controversy by putting up some money and providing airtime for independent music.
According to the AP story, the four major US broadcasters will fork over 12.5 million dollars to the FCC, and provide 8,400 half-hour segment of free airtime for independent record labels. Full story on the AP Biz Wire.
In addition to airplay, the broadcasters and the independent labels have also negotiated a set of “rules of engagement” that will guide how record company representatives and radio programmers interact.
The free airtime would be granted to companies not owned or controlled by the nation’s four dominant music labels – Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI Group.
Broadcasters have never admitted to doing anything wrong.