Payola Claims Lead FCC Commissioner To Ask Record Labels To Investigate Issue


FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly is fighting against the issue of payola in the music industry — a concerning practice that many have made allegations of for decades. In September, O’Rielly previously shared a letter asking the Recording Industry Association of America to look into the issue of payola. In response, the RIAA said they weren’t in a position to investigate their members’ practices and suggested that the FCC inquire directly to the labels themselves.

O’Rielly shared a letter on Twitter sent to the three major record labels, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, asking them to investigate “accusations that financial enticement is in some cases driving chart rankings, album and song sales, and commercial success.”

“Such practices, in turn, create unfair financial advantages for some, to the detriment of others. Additionally, artificially and secretly facilitating the commercial success of certain performers—or their management—at others’ expense disadvantages American consumers by undermining access to artists they might otherwise prefer,” he explained. 

The FCC is requesting these labels to submit information pertaining to their knowledge of payola, their understanding of the current rules and what rules and laws need to be applied to curb the issue. 

Among the questions are how the company defines payola and if employees are required to be trained in “payola prohibitions and potential penalties.” Peep the full letter here. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.