An Analysis of Radio Playlists in a Post FCC-Consent Decree World
Kristin Thomson, Education Director, Future of Music Coalition
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
In April 2007, the Federal Communications Commission and the nation’s four largest radio station group owners – Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Citadel and Entercom – signed a voluntary agreement as a response to collected evidence and widespread allegations about payola influencing what gets played on the radio. It has been two years since the FCC, radio station group owners and independent labels met around the table. The immediate questions for the music and policymaking community are: Did these agreements serve their purpose? Have payola-like practices been curtailed? Did the agreements have any effect on what gets played on the radio? read more
WASHINGTON, D.C.? FMC announces the release of a new report that analyzes radio playlists to determine whether the policy interventions resulting from 2003-2007 payola investigations have had any effect on the amount of independent music played on terrestrial radio.
Yesterday, Clear Channel sent out two press releases that seemed to contradict each other on some pretty fundamental levels. The first described a "commitment" to a "higher minimum level of service" in the communities in which its stations operate." read more
It was only a matter of time before the new Congress saw the reintroduction of a pro-Low Power FM bill. If passed, this legislation would create opportunities for hundreds more community radio stations in cities, towns and suburbs across the United States. The House of Representative’s new Local Community Radio Act represents a strong step forward towards this goal. read more
Washington, DC â€“ On October 22, 2008, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and the Future of Music Coalition (FMC) released the results of a comprehensive study they conducted of a wide range of independent labels. The report collects feedback from the independent label community about radio’s progress in complying with the 2007 FCC Consent Decree and Rules of Engagement, which put specific anti-payola guidelines in place for four of the largest commercial radio broadcasters (CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Entercom Communications, and Citadel Broadcasting). Around the same time, the independent music community, led by A2IM and the FMC, signed a separate, voluntary “Rules Of Engagement” agreement with the radio chains promising more local and independent artists, 4,200 hours of independent music, and new anti-payola guidelines. read more
Independent Labels and Commercial Airplay 18 Months After the FCC Consent Decree and the "Rules of Engagement"
Justin Jouvenal for FMC and A2IM
Monday, October 20, 2008
This survey of A2IM label members conducted by investigative journalist Justin Jouvenal finds that indie labels are still having difficulty getting airplay on commercial radio. The report reveals near-unanimous sentiment among label owners: little has changed over the last year and a half, with 92 percent of label respondents describing their relationship to commercial radio as “the same” as before the Consent Decree and Voluntary Agreements. read more
WASHINGTON, DC – Future of Music Coalition — whose 2002 examination of radio station ownership consolidation Radio Deregulation: Has It Served Citizens and Musicians? has been cited as essential evidence by FCC Commissioners and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals — has released a new publication that provides an overview of payola in the radio industry. Released in collaboration with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), Change That Tune: A Payola Education Guide for Musicians and Citizens makes the case that little has changed since the FCC enacted voluntary agreements between radio groups and major labels in April 2007.
In its reply comments, FMC highlights concrete ways for stations to make localism a priority, and urges the FCC to take definite steps to collect playlist data so it can track and analyze playlists in order to ensure that stations fulfill their public interest obligations. For the past four years, FMC has articulated a four-part “Fixing Radio” agenda. This agenda is focused on specific, tangible and commonsense policies that will greatly enhance the role that terrestrial radio can and should play in our society and culture.
On June 11, 2008, FMC filed reply comments in the FCC’s ongoing localism docket (04-233). FMC’s comments offered highly targeted proposals designed to aid stations’ service to their local communities. FMC also urged the FCC to take definite steps to track and analyze playlists in order to fulfill their public interest obligations. read more
Let’s cut to the chase: urban radio sucks. You know it, artists know it, and programmers know it too. It offers little room for creative programming, tends to favor established artists at the expense of new voices, and kills any halfway-decent song that does manage to land in rotation by playing it as much as three times an hour. Most of all, urban radio sucks because it rarely meets the needs of the local community from which its listeners are drawn. read more
Who wants to run a noncommercial FM radio station? It’s easy to find outâ€”all of the applications filed with the Federal Communications Commission last fall can be viewed online. But you don’t have to delve deep into the database to get a general idea. Just browsing a list of the organizations by name suggests some dominant interests. read more