Payola for EMI's biggest acts?

by Jason Gross

26 June 2006

 

Surely Alan Freed’s ghost must be chuckling that payola is alive though not-so-well.  Thanks to NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (and not the self-appointed moral guardians at the FCC), another major label had to pay up recently for its flagrant misdeeds: EMI settles ‘pay-for-play’ probe.  What’s most amusing and interesting is that some of the payoffs when to support what are their biggest acts: Coldplay, Gorillaz.  Remember one year ago when EMI sadly admitted that its bottom line was hitting the bottom because its cash cows had delayed their albums?  Even Chris Martin was disgusted by his own company’s pathetic state.  Turns out that they were more desperate than he thought, having to line the pockets of some radio programmers just to make sure these bands did strike it big.  How effective it was might be open to some debate but the Coldplay and Gorillaz CD’s did deliver the sales.  And what’s the moral of the story?  Even the biggest sellers of the majors need a push just to make sure they keep selling.  Doesn’t bode well for the industry now, does it…?

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