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.