This Road Of Music
By Alan Rhody

Imagine this conversation between a radio sales person and a musician:

"All right, here's the deal. I'm going to buy ads for my new single CD release, ok? The catch is I want these ads to run only immediately following each radio play of the song."

"Awright, no problem."

"Wait a minute! How many times will the ad run?"

"Well, I don't know exactly."

"Then how do I now how much to pay for the ads?"

"Well ... uh .... how 'bout this much?"

"Well that sounds reasonable, but does this mean you're going to play the song that many times to warrant the cost of the ads?"

"Well ... uh ... hopefully, if our listeners like the record, and our consultant tells us it tested well and the program director loves it. Yes, I guess you could say that."

Now I ask you folks, is this "pay-for-play" or something more seedy sounding like "payola"?

It's a fairly hot topic these days and at least one record label here in Nash-Vegas is doing it for some of their artists as we speak, or write and read. Some of you may have already read about it.

I think it's not only very weird, but it's starting to border on "conflict of interest" don't you think? Doesn't there have to be some established number of times a paid advertisement is going to run on the radio? If not, I want to know how else it's going to be worked out. I guess we'll have to ask the genius who thought it up.

So what else is new in the music world? Well, let's see, you can now give away your music on CD ROM for even more promotional use and exposure. With the new "MP3" compression technology, one can get as many as 100-150 songs on one CD. Ain't it grand? And people wonder why writers and publishers are concerned about copyright protection on the Internet.

Sure, it's good exposure and all. I just feel a little funny about letting anybody who has a CD ROM help themselves to whatever is available to them by way of these new "dotcom-pilations" that are starting to appear on the horizon. It's one thing to look at "Promotional" copies of any new product going to radio, TV or even possible booking dates etc. That's all within the industry. To send an invitation to the public, even if it is at this time. Only those members of the public who happen to own a CD-ROM, to download at will for free is taking the need for exposure too far.

How about 1/2 a song?


Award-winning songwriter and painter Alan Rhody can be reached at: P. 0. Box 121231 Nashville, TN 37212 or FAX:(615)298-4286 or http://www.songs.com and also at 1-800-BUY-MYCD.