The Control and Dissemination of Music in Corporate Controlled Markets


  • Robert Petti McMaster Universiy



Music, Radio, media monopoly, society, mass media, record label, aspiring artist, culture, payola, advertising,


For the radio industry, music has become a tool for attracting listeners with the purpose of providing a specific demographic audience for corporate advertisers. As profit increasingly becomes a predominant focus, individual artistic expression and limited opportunity become a growing concern for aspiring musicians, producers and songwriters. This essay begins by demonstrating what hopeful artists often encounter when they begin their journey within the realm of the music business. It will be argued that artistic integrity often becomes compromised in a business where powerful gatekeepers often shape and dictate cultural trends that optimize consumer consumption. This essay will explore how illegal business practices flourish, as payola (pay for play) becomes a way of securing limited airplay within a radio station’s playlist. In a business where music is regularly selected for its profit potential, music has become a way of shaping popular culture rather than reflecting its true nature.