Payola is a multi-headed hydra


It saddens me to write this because it really speaks to the desperate times of (at least) two business models, but write about it I must.

Idolator has a story (picked up by Wired’s music blog) that chronicles an email exchange between the publisher/advertising director of the Boston-area magazine Amplifier and the marketing director for the Birdman label.

In the exchange, the publisher of Amplifier comes right out and asks the label if they plan to advertise in his magazine. When the label’s marketing director informs him that he doesn’t have the budget to do so, the publisher says, “Bummer…..wish we could continue to support your artists, but I guess we can’t….if you’re never going to advertise with us I can’t justify the cost of covering your releases.”

We typically associate payment for exposure (ie payola) w/ radio, and while it certainly goes on in the print world, I’ve never seen it quite so blatant in either.

It really is kind of sad all the way around. Things like this often do signify the bottoming out moment, and hopefully we can start rebuilding.


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