A2IM Announces Radio Rules Of Engagement

Indie label trade group A2IM has unveiled the new Radio Rules Of Engagement that it has negotiated with four major radio owner groups as an unofficial part of the pending $12 million settlement with the FCC.


  1. Radio should establish, and appropriately publicize, clear and non-discriminatory procedures for music submissions and access to radio station music programmers (to the extent any such access is provided).
  2. Radio should not be allowed to sell or barter access to its music programmers.
  3. Radio should not form relationships with any music companies, independent promotion companies, or other parties which provide for exclusive access to radio station music programmers, nor should Radio restrict access to its music programmers to those who contribute promotional consideration.
  4. Radio should not exclude independent promotion companies, as a class, from gaining access to music programmers except for independent promotion companies which are compensated based upon playlist additions or increased spins.
  5. Radio shall not ask for or expect, either directly or indirectly, any quid pro quo to play music, including but not limited to: (a) Any promotional considerations including cash and prizes (b) Local concert appearances (c) Exclusive relationships with recording artists.
  6. Radio (individual stations or their parent companies) shall not act in a coercive manner, make or imply threats to withhold or reduce airplay or make or imply promises to commence or increase airplay, in connection with the solicitation of any promotional consideration, or any promotional consideration promised or given to competitor stations, including concert appearances and artist “exclusives.”
  7. Disclosure:  All cash and non-cash consideration (above a reasonable threshold) made by labels, artists, or their agents shall be confirmed in writing and shall be subject to internal tracking controls, with the information gathered as a result of these controls available to the FCC upon its request.
  8. Contest prize recipients to the extent permitted by applicable law must be identified publicly, and confirmed as not employees of the radio station or members of their immediate families or households.

While these rules do not have the force of law, the four major broadcast groups will have gone on record agreeing to abide by them. On the other side of the table this effort received active support and endorsement from A2IM, The Future of Music Coalition, AFTRA, American Federation of Independent Music, Recording Artists Coalition, The Music Managers’ Forum and NARAS.

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