Report: Radio Stations, Record Labels Begin More National Partnerships
Ever since former New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer extracted multimillion-dollar payola settlements from all four major-label groups in 2005, tighter boundaries have been drawn around the relationship between the radio and music businesses. But large national partnerships appear to signal a new level of cooperation between two industries that have long had a symbiotic, albeit sometimes contentious, relationship.
The article notes that Show Dog/Nashville coughed up a $34,000 boat stocked with fishing tools and reels to "tie into" Trace Adkins' "Just Fishin'," requiring listeners to "like" one of 110 Clear Channel country station Facebook pages to be eligible to win.
CBS Radio, it says "has been marshaling radio, TV and online platforms" for it's "Live On Letterman" Ed Sullivan Theater webcasts and flyaways, which started in October 2009, starring Curb's Tim McGraw.
With Cumulus and Citadel about to merge, don't be surprised to see the stakes of these "events" get even higher as the biggest conglomerates woo the music business, trying to outdo one another promotionally in pursuit of cash and prizes.
Meanwhile, the remaining several thousand non-monitored, non-reporting, non-major group-owned country stations whose listeners all consume lots of music too and often buy CD's at rural WalMart, Target and other retailers, stand by and wonder what it takes to share in all the largess.
A humble suggestion: let every radio station in North America which wants to support music they play get in on the promotions.
Call a halt to all the exclusive partnerships, which leave the majority of us out while hoping the preferred "friend" spins the music enough to make up for the anger and alienation it creates across the street, thus, potentially proving as toxic as permitting one station to "present" a concert and shutting the other ones out regardless of the sizes of their audiences.
As with "neutral shows," maybe it's time for "neutral promotions" too, encouraging ALL of us to promote the music to the max of our creative capabilities and mutual needs.
Marrying one artist or song with one major group or another is both too expensive and counter-productive in the competitive landscape that is records and radio in 2011.
Let's all work together and sell some music.