FCC Intensifies Payola Probe / Now Targeting Record Labels Directly After RIAA Inquiry

Published: Wednesday 30th Oct 2019 by Rashad

FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly (pictured above) rocked headlines in early September when he sent a formal letter to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) requesting their cooperation in an investigation into the unscrupulous practice of “payola” (as we reported here).

Taking weeks to respond, their unsatisfactory reply to the inquiry has only incited a deeper probe of music industry practices. Details inside:

“Payola” is an act that sees a music servicing platform (streaming or radio outlets mainly) accept pay or bribes from record labels to boost an artist’s chart or certification stats.  As the practice has been rampant in the music industry for decades, an official probe from the U.S. government has been launched to curtail the activity.

Per the petition of O’Rielly, the RIAA’s CEO – Mitch Glazier – responded on September 27th and ultimately offered little insight as he stated the organization is ‘constrained by law in [its] ability to probe and collect the individual business practices of [its] member companies.’  Pointing the finger at ‘independent radio promoters,’ Glazier insinuated the act of payola is NOT one major labels (which the trade organization represents) engage in.

See the letter in full below:

Branding Glazier’s letter ‘underwhelming,’ O’Rielly has promised to continue his investigation by taking his questions to the alleged sources.  Taking to Twitter, he said:



It should be noted the RIAA’s response, though seemingly ambiguous and unhelpful, is nonetheless factual.  As the organization certifies artists based on record labels’ audited and verified sales (digital and traditional) and streaming reports, radio airplay is not included in its equation.  Yes, streaming is often pointed to as a manipulated source of payola, but the FCC’s stake in the conversation is related to radio as it is the United States’ regulatory authority for security, fair competition,  radio frequency use, and media responsibility of radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

However, to O’Rielly’s point (as we reported here), the RIAA is “uniquely situated” to survey industry practices as its association members do supply content to and/or engage with reports across radio and digital platforms alike.  Being able to “see the bigger picture” means they are at least capable of surmising if unfair radio practices are at play.  As such, Glazier’s dismissal of the FCC’s request could only see worse things uncovered if the probe digs deep into major record labels’ data.

Simply put:  things are about to get ugly.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Clarkson October 30, 2019

    Here comes the haters.

    1.3 billion streams
    Havana hit number 1 in 30+ countries
    Seniorita hit number one in 30+ countries

    No record label can afford payola in several countries around the world. They would go bankrupt.

    Jealousy is a disease

    • Are You Kidding Me? October 30, 2019

      For somebody who ignores me when I try to start logical discourse, despite your Camilla obsession, you sure seem to be keeping tabs on me. 10:03AM no comments. 10:04AM, 2 comments from you as I commented!

      • only facts October 30, 2019

        He’s a b*tch and only replies to me half the time. F*cking obsessed creep he is.

      • Clarkson October 30, 2019

        U should be Camilla obsessed like me. She is all that. A true vocal powerhouse, dancer, great performer, and future legend unlike that Normani.

  2. Clarkson October 30, 2019

    “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello has now broken the record for longest running #1 on the Worldwide Apple Music Song Chart, with 121 days.

    The record was previously held by Camila’s own “Havana” with Young Thug.

    No payola for queen cabello.
    She’s international

    • only facts October 30, 2019

      LMAO! She’ll be the first one exposed…then Ariana.

      • Madame slay October 30, 2019

        But ur faves is using Arianna to get a hit

        Arianna wrote ur faves debut single (motivation) that flop

        Dont bite the hand that feeds u.
        Ungrateful troll

      • only facts October 30, 2019

        Your fave cannot get a hit without payola and a feature by someone with a d*ck. Your fave used Taylor Swift for clout, now Taylor doesn’t even acknowledge Camila (talk about a kiiii). You are a loser. And it’s clear you made a new account Clarkson. You loser.

      • Clarkson October 30, 2019

        Gurl my faves has 2 number 1’s

        Senorita is the fastest song to reach 900 million streams

        Havana has 1.3 billion streams.
        Most streamed song but a female artist

        Liar already has 100 million streams

        Liar-110 million streams
        Motivation – 89 million streams

        Shameless video has more YouTube views than motivation

        Shameless 65 million views
        Motivation 63 million views

        Gurl u will commit suicide when Camila scored Grammy nominations for
        song of the year
        Record of the year
        Best pop vocal collaboration

        Normani doesnt have a Grammy nomination to her name.

  3. Are You Kidding Me? October 30, 2019

    We’ll see how far this goes. If it goes to the lengths of shutting down programs like Napster, I’ll be tuned in.

    Many of these artists are not as successful as we think. Jay-Z for one, comes to mind. So do others who prepackage their music.

    I don’t care what anyone says. Including your music with a device isn’t me buying it. I needed the device. Not your music.

    • MCalling you h*** out October 30, 2019

      Last time Jay Z went number one was when? Him and Bey make money off touring and promotion nice try tho

      • Are You Kidding Me? October 30, 2019

        I’m talking about the controversy when his album was on some cellphone and he had these “amazing album sales”. It was the biggest farce to me. That’s like calling a song in a commercial that’s a jingle a #1 because commercials play frequently.

  4. Clarkson October 30, 2019

    Ooooh they’re about to expose my QUEEN CAMILA!!! We know she paid for all those streams! If she didn’t, her current songs wouldn’t be struggling.

    I LIVE FOR CAMILA! CAMILA 2020! She makes my pu$$y wet and my ears moist.

    • Madame slay October 30, 2019

      Only facts ur pathetic
      A loser. Lol

      • only facts October 30, 2019

        I’m standing right here ….in the words of Nicki.

      • Clarkson October 30, 2019

        B1tch ur a troll.

  5. Nicky October 30, 2019


    Seniorita was not release under Epic but Island. So the point is moot


    It’s coincidental now Camicky is flopping during this probe



    • only facts October 30, 2019

      The real kii! I cannot wait for the AMA’s in November so we can see Taylor throw Camila DUST since she doesn’t like her any longer.

      • Clarkson October 30, 2019

        Atleast my faves was nominated for an AMA this year and is invited to the awards ceremony

        Normani didnt get any nominations. She will be watching from her living room, like a loser. Lol

      • only facts October 30, 2019

        Watch Normani be announced as a performer and steal the show just like did at the VMA’s and 2018 Billboard Awards. LOL.

        Camila will not be relevant this time next year, c*ntface.

        If Normani is such a “flop” why are you so threatened by her? I don’t see Beyoncé’s fans going after Ciara…wanna know why? Because they aren’t threatened by her. If anything, you’re giving Normani more attention.

        Get your life together you twit

      • Clarkson October 30, 2019

        Gurl normani didnt get any nominations, how embarrassing is that.

        If she shows up to perform then it’s even more embarrassing, she’s going to be sitting in the audience clapping for the winners when they walk up to the stage to receive their award. Lol . What a bloody loser.
        If seniorita wins she will clap for Camila as queen Camila walks up the stage. Lol

        Steal what show? Her vma performance received mixed reviews. Her vocals were weak and paper thin.
        Camila vma performance of seniorita was praised for its simplicity and emphasis on her vocals and chemistry with shawn Mendes.

        Camila will still be relevant next year cause next year she will be attending the Grammys where her number 1 song seniorita will be nominated for:
        Song of the year
        Record of the year
        Best pop vocal collaboration

        Everybody paid motivation remix dust.
        Everybody were criticising normani for releasing motivation remix cause it was unnecessary and stupid. 21 savage brought nothing to the song . She didnt even post about the song on her Instagram.

        Normani is losing goodwill with the public.
        Now she’s teaming up with nicki minaj, one of the most hated human beings on the planet right now.
        Summer walker doesnt have a top ten song but her album hit number 2, and this album is still in the top 10.

  6. Law October 30, 2019

    Girl….. Atlantic records are burning computers as we speak.

  7. truthtea October 30, 2019

    Most of you current music listeners of today’s singers don’t realize your faves have benefitted from payola and streaming! Remove both of those and you lost most of your hit songs and your album sales drop tremendously!

  8. Oop October 30, 2019

    Atlantic and a few other upstarts have left the chat…

  9. Detruth October 30, 2019

    Nicky you in danger girl!

    • Glass house October 30, 2019

      How?? She was doing her best before streaming actually counted..and she became popular because of mixtapes and YouTube…you played yourself

      • Detruth October 30, 2019

        Payola didn’t start with streaming

  10. Truth, a REAL sissy October 30, 2019

    THAT’S why Nicki retired lolol!! She caint use payola to boost her flop sell honey

  11. Barb-wire/ Stallion Hottie October 30, 2019

    Cardi and Atlantic are quaking! Coincidence that when these investigations started, suddenly Hepatitis B stopped making music till 2020? ? Me thinks not! Also she’s now flopping harder than Madonna’s titties. The DJs wants no parts this time around huh ????

    • only facts October 30, 2019

      Girl, don’t even speak until 1) Megan gets a SOLO top 40 hit and 2) Megan has an ALBUM…not a mixtape.

      Megan ain’t sh*t except a girl with a big booty, a face like Doug, and two mixtapes. She’s a big, red bucket of chitterlings or CHITLINS.

      • Clarkson October 30, 2019

        If megan is all those things, then what is normani?

        Normani has
        Zero number 1 songs
        Zero top ten hits
        Zero Grammy nominations
        Never performed at the Grammys
        No debut album

        Gurl sit down.
        U can dish it but u cant take it.

  12. eric October 30, 2019

    Bout time they do this! It should be regular practice, not once every 20 or 30 years.

  13. Davis Skola November 5, 2019

    Two years ago, I learnt about a successful Hepatitis B Virus treatment from Herbal Health Point (ww w. herbalhealthpoint. c om), I was on the treatment for over 7 months and tested negative to the virus after I completed the treatment. Its almost unbelievable how effective the treatment was alleviating the virus. I completed the treatment two years ago and still negative!

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