Can Payola Save Internet Radio?
A Silicon Alley Insider op-ed piece by Doug Perison of net radio ad network TargetSpot advocates for what I think has to be one of the worst ideas I’ve heard in a long time: saving internet radio by selling sponsored song plays.
Internet radio is struggling under new draconian royalty demands; and unlike broadcast radio, payola is probably legal on the net. I can even imagine broadcasters would add identifying sponsor tags. None of that makes this a good idea.
People listen to music on the net to escape broadcast radio’s "ick" factor created by endless ads, hype-driven DJ’s, overproduced promos. To bring any hint of that to internet radio is a huge mistake. If you want to help internet radio, fight the royalty rates or better yet waive any royalty payment at all from select broadcasters. It may not earn Don a commission, but it will keep millions from switching stations yet again.