Clear Channel Communications, that largest owner and operator of radio stations in the U.S. (They have a roster of 1,200 radio stations), plan to stop using independent radio promoters.
The indie promotion business was covered in a recent rant here at antiMUSIC, “Tuning Out, why radio sucks.” And as alluded to in that editorial, it appeared that the much maligned indie promotion business is being pushed out of business by Clear Channel.
While many complain about the cost associated with breaking a song on U.S. radio due to the high cost of indie promotion, many fear that the recent dominance of Clear Channel will be much worst for artists, labels and listeners in the long run.
The way the indie promotion business works is record labels pay the indie promoters to work directly with radio stations to get songs on the air. It is estimated that this system can cost over a $1 million to land a song on Top 40 radio.
Clear Channel’s move to axe indie promotion comes on the heals of recent scrutiny in the U.S. Senate. Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold have introduced legislation that would provide more government regulation over the radio business and has additional provisions designed to help eliminate record label payments to radio stations for airtime.
Clear Channel has decide that they are not renewing the indie promoter contracts when they expire this summer so they can eliminate any appearance of impropriety, due to the backlash against the “pay to play” model of indie promotion. Clear Channel plans to work directly with record labels in the future. .