May 11, 2013

Should Performers Get Paid for Radio Plays?

When you discover how the music industry makes money, you’d be surprised at every little law and loophole that seems to work in favor of the production companies and labels rather than the artists.  You’d think when you create a song, the lyrics, and the beat – that a song belongs to you and you alone, but you’d be wrong.  The second you get signed to a label, you’d better read the fine print at the bottom of the contract.  Some of these songs you produce no longer belong to you, and you could wind up hearing you song on a commercial without ever seeing a penny from the sale.  This happens all the time, and band and their labels have been known to have it out publically for the rest to see.

Radio stations are not immune either.  In fact, they are basically run by the labels and the money they are paid to air songs.  This is naturally why we only hear the same songs from the same artists instead of something local or fresh.  So what is the logic here?  The radio plays a song, and the label is once again paid for the airing rather than the artist himself.