Sunday, March 20, 2016
Music Business/Law Tips - "Playlist Promotion (Playola?)"
Playlists on the major streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music have become an important new form of "charts", as this is where fans and music supervisors are starting to gravitate to discover music as well as where traditional radio stations are looking for which songs are popular enough to add. As such, record labels now actively try to get their newly released singles to appear on such playlists. This is known in the industry as "playlist promotion". Essentially, the old-school "legal" promotional methods that were once (and still are) used by labels to get songs added to radio have now carried over to this new medium. Therefore, it appears that if a label or artist can afford to pay a middlemen digital marketing firm (similar to indie radio promoter) who will - via their relationships with curators of the various playlists - influence song placements and chart positions on the playlists, then the true indie artists will again be squeezed out of the mass exposure picture just as they always were before and will have to rely on grassroots to break. ("Meet the new boss/same as the old boss." [lyric by P. Townshend]) Ben McLane Esq benmclane.com