Why Charging And Payment Of Payola Can Never End
The payment of payola by artistes to radio presenters or DJs is a phenomenon that is very rampant in the music industry. Time and time again, in as much as that payola is illegal and should not be encouraged, it seems like the payment of payola can never be stopped.
The best that can be done is to minimize the rate at which it’s practiced and the amount of money involved. I am of the opinion that the payment of payola cannot be stopped because of my observations and experience in the music industry as one -time radio presenter, producer, close pal to some artistes and currently as an entertainment writer and analyst.
It’s quite a few radio presenters who would openly accede to the fact that they collect payola from artistes before they play their songs on radio. Some presenters would even collect payola yet they wouldn’t ever play the song of the artiste involved. It’s so obvious that the amount of payola an artiste pays would reflect in the way, style and duration the presenter would promote a song.
An artiste who pays 100GHC as payola should not expect his or her song to be played as much as possible as compared to an artiste who may have paid an amount of 500GHC or more. Have you ever considered what would happen if radio presenters no more collect payola? If that should happen, radio presenters through the help of their producers would play songs of artistes of their choice which may be to the detriment of other artistes especially when the radio presenters do not really like these artistes even though their songs may be very good.
The bottom-line is that, in the absence of paying payola, the playing of songs could be a disadvantage to some other artistes. When this happens, for an artiste to ensure that his or her song is played on radio by all means necessary, the artiste would rather offer payola to the radio presenter even when the presenter may not have demanded such.
I sincerely believe many artistes who openly complain about the demand of payola from them by radio presenters, do so only for its sake. In this current dispensation, many artistes believe that the massive airplay of their songs would make the song very popular and hence, ensure that they get more shows to perform at and earn more cash. If through the payment of payola to a radio presenter, an artiste is guaranteed of massive airplay of his songs, which would help him or her get more cash through shows, what then would prevent such an artiste from freely offering payola to the radio presenter?
For most artistes, the payment of payola is a necessary evil and more of an investment that would help them yield more revenue. The radio presenters, also having in mind the amount of cash that artistes charge at shows, charge the artistes huge amounts of money as payola. Even if radio presenters decide not to charge artistes payola, the artistes would rather find it necessary to offer cash to the presenters just to ensure that their songs are consistently played on radio.
It must however be emphasized that payola is one of the major obstacles artistes face in the music industry. It would surprise you to know that many presenters get money that far exceeds their monthly salaries all through the illegal charging and payment of payola.
I have had personal experiences with radio presenters who have charged me payola in order to promote the songs of some artistes that have sought my assistance. In my subsequent articles on the subject of payola, I would expose some radio presenters who seem to be enjoying the illegal trade of charging artistes payola before they play their songs on radio.
Even after collecting the huge sums of money as payola, these same radio presenters demand more cash from the artistes before they are interviewed on radio in a bid to promote their music. Radio presenters who are guilty of collecting payola from artistes should desist from the practice or else I would expose them. I rest my case.
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