NEW YORK (Hypebot) – Payola’s Pay-to play. Ugly terms from a different era or a new way to get exposure and monetize internet broadcasting? Jango, a US based music site with 6 million monthly listeners, has decided to find out.
For $30 for 1,000 plays, indie artists get airplay to fans of established artists of their choice. If a band's fans say they remind them of U2; then that band can now target airplay to U2 fans only. A display ad running alongside encourages listeners to rate the song or become a fan. In addition to targeting by music taste, artists can also target listeners by age, gender and location.
Other airplay packages include $50 for 2,000 plays and $100 for 5,000 plays. "For $50 I got 2,000 airplays on Jango. At the end of the day, I had nearly 400 "likes," over 50 new fans and lots of positive comments, says NYC indie artist Mickey Wax. "I also saw increases in album sales and traffic to my website."
Internet broadcasts are not regulated by the FCC in the same way as over the air broadcasters; so what Jango is doing is perfectly legal. But is it right? In a fractured and cluttered media landscape should artist's pay to get played? How will Jango's audience react to the new music by artists they've never heard of.