Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Spitzer says, Choose your own Music

I’ve long considered Eliot Spitzer and his AntiSpyware team led by Justin Brookman as good people.  They’ve been successful at exposing some of the evil spyware companies who try to infect computers with unwanted toolbars, pop-ups and redirected web pages. More Info  Spitzers office also found that CD’s containing root-kits were still on the store shelves after Sony claimed to have recalled them all.  More Info 

This week the NYS Attorney General has hopefully stopped Universal Music Group Recordings Inc in a radio payola scheme that would surely make Alan Freed turn over in his grave. More Info The company behind artists such as Ashlee Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Brian McKnight and Nick Lachey has agreed to settle for $12 million.  The company admits no guilt but acknowledged some of their employees and independent promoters provided vacations, electronics and other bribes to radio stations.

UMG also used interns, employees and outside vendors to pose as radio listeners calling radio stations and repeatedly requesting songs they wanted to push.  This really sounds like a great way to obtain a million dollar return with just a few dollars to phone banks. 

I can’t help but imagine rooms full of phones in India with employees dialing up radio stations requesting the favorite new song. Within days we’re all humming songs we would have never heard of otherwise.  As scary as this is, it’s brilliant!

Luckily, this is apparently illegal.  UMG has a 26% share of the world market and sells one out of every three albums in the US.  I had a chance to meet Eliot Spitzer last year and I told him his AntiSpyware efforts would win him the election as governor of New York.  I’m re-considering my advice to him. I think he should blow past governor and start campaigning for the next presidential election. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no doubt that Spitzer is riding the wave of consumerism to higher offices. Who knows what offices they end up with, but he not only knows how to use the media to his advantage, he makes sure to go after the really bad guys. The ones none of us have sympathy for. It's winning the hearts and minds of people in the consumer community.

7:37 PM  

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