Washington, D.C.— You remember several years ago, in 2005, former Attorney General, now New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer caught several major labels and major radio companies with hands in each others’ cookie jars engaging in payola — receiving payments from record companies to play certain records?* Sure you do, his investigation garnered national headlines and resulted in fines and penalties from several major labels that exceeded $30 million. read more
Clear Channel has cornered the market on the nation’s radio stations, but it won’t be able to extend that domination to digital recordings for live concerts. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has stripped Clear Channel of a patent it had held on a system for creating digital recordings for live performances.
The move was announced last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which staged a campaign to overturn the patent. Clear Channel claimed the patent gave it a monopoly on all-in-one, digital post-concert recordings, and the company threatened to sue anyone that made such recordings, according to EFF. read more
FMC released a study last year called “False Premises, False Promises” that quantified the destructive impact consolidation had on the radio industry. The report has been quoted at length in the media, but here are a few salient points:
The “localness” of radio ownership — ownership by individuals living in the community — has declined between 1975 and 2005 by almost one-third.
Just fifteen formats make up three-quarters of all commercial programming. Moreover, radio formats with different names can overlap up to 80% in terms of the songs played on them. read more