As you’re probably aware, commercial radio has been plagued by payola for quite a long time. This is arguably the biggest reason why you don’t get to hear more independent music on the public airwaves.
To be fair, there are some commercial stations out there giving some indie airplay, but most of the spins are few and far between. Some of these stations even have time slots where they play indie music exclusively. The sad part is, these shows usually end up at the times and on the days where the least amount of listeners are tuning in, for example — 12am -3am or late night on Sundays. But hey — at least they’re playing some indie music, right?
Remember back a couple of years ago when the FCC and the nation’s four largest radio station group owners came together and signed a voluntary agreement as a response to collected evidence and widespread allegations about payola influencing what gets played on the radio?
To refresh your memory, basically the "big 4" had to pay millions in fines and work with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) to draft a plan allowing significantly more unsigned and indie label music spins. So what were the results?
Practically nothing has changed!
A recent report by the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) indicates almost no measurable change in station playlist composition over the past four years. Independent labels, which comprise some 30 percent of the domestic music market, are left to vie for mere slivers of airtime, despite negotiated attempts to address this programming imbalance.
Not to worry though. Although it would be nice to turn the radio on in the car and hear some more creative and interesting tunes rather than the same ‘ol boring, cookie cutter mainstream tunes, there are a number of different options for getting your daily indie fix on the go and discovering some great new artists and bands in the process.
We’ll be covering some of the more popular options in an upcoming post. Stay tuned…
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