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FCC Commissioner Asks RIAA To Investigate Payola In Radio/Music Industry

Before even getting to what’s happening with this story, you might be asking yourself: “What is payola?”

Payola is when someone pays a person in a position to get them to plug your product–or in this case, play you or your artists’ music on radio. Basically, exchanging monetary value to show favoritism or play something over and over again while pretending it’s just because they genuinely like it that much.

You ever get into the car and listen to the radio and that one song you’ve NEVER actually heard in the club or in the car with friends? Then, before you know it, it’s playing again and again on every radio station. That right there is payola…allegedly.

It’s not hard to believe this happens all throughout the music industry. Powerful people in the business approach an underpaid worker and present the idea of playing a song, and with the press of a button they could get thousands of dollars–You can see how it would be hard to say no. But all of that could come back to bite some industry personnel in their backside very soon.

According to reports from Billboard, FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly asked the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to “investigate allegations of payola in the music industry”.

In a letter issued on Wednesday and posted on FCC.gov, the Commissioner states:

“To the extent that payola is currently occurring within the industry, I am writing to ask for your help in ensuring that the practice be discontinued.”

Payola is 100% violation of federal law and is being treated as such. As the investigation begins, more details will arise on who and what caused this whole situation to get on the FCC’s radar to begin with. It will be interesting to see what something like this does to the music industry once the truth starts to come out.

Here’s what people online had to say about the music industry’s use of payola going under investigation:

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