Sony BMG Caught In Payola Scandal

Published: 2005-07-27
As sneaky as they thought they were, mega-label Sony BMG Music Entertainment's payola scandal was unearthed by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. The corporation will dish out a $10 million settlement for its employees paying radio stations to play their artists.

In a statement to the press Spitzer said, "Radio stations are airing music because they are paid to do so in a way that hasn't been disclosed to the public." The payola reportedly came in many forms, including cash bribes, vacations packages, expensive electronics, and contest giveaways for the radio stations' listeners.

The $10 million that Sony BMG will pay is set to be divided among a number of non-profit organizations that support musical education in the United States. For those who don't know, record companies paying off disc jockeys (aka payola) has been an illegal practice since 1960. There happened to be a lot of this sort of thing back in the day.

Sony BMG is a giant umbrella corporation with labels such as Arista and Columbia residing under its name. The artist roster includes the likes of OutKast, Celine Dion, Dido, Gretchen Wilson, and Avril Lavigne.

Writer: Jaclyn Arndt



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