Spitzer targets radio stations

March 2006

Record labels

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has subpoenaed some of the USA’s largest radio conglomerates in his “payola” investigation of major artists and songs that he claims got air time because of payoffs by recording companies. Payola, or ‘pay for play’ breaches a 1960 federal law prohibiting record companies paying ton get airtime for records on the radio. “A lot of the major songs have been implicated in this and it showed how pervasive the payola infrastructure had become,” Spitzer told Associated Press. “Probably many of the songs that were beneficiaries of the payola scheme would have succeeded without it, but certainly payola became part of the promotional structure and was integral to the game to get songs to the top. Major artists, major songs were sent up the charts through improper payments to buy spins on the air that translated into sales.” Warner Music Group Corp. agreed last year to pay $5 million to settle its part of the investigation, and Sony BMG Music Entertainment agreed to pay $10 million .http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=1594741

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