As a new artist, you can get very excited about getting your name out there.
And you might get a lot of ideas on how to do this.
Sometimes, you may be willing to do what it takes to expose your music to a large audience or get on Spotify playlists.
Even if it means paying people to showcase your songs.
But what you might not know is that paying for this kind of service is actually illegal.
This act is what is called payola.
What is Payola?
Payola, also known as “pay to play” is the practice of either bribing or paying someone to play or listen to your songs.
For example, you can pay curators to add your songs to their playlists or you can pay radio hosts to play your songs on their channel.
Whatever channel or means it is, giving someone money so that you can expose yourself is not the right way to go.
Although it is also a practice that some record labels are doing, this does not make it right.
The only way to go in the real world is to do things genuinely and honestly.
By doing so, you are not only working hard for your exposure but you can also feel proud of yourself at the end of the day.
When Did Payola Become Illegal?
Unfortunately, payola is still a practice today.
It has been around since the 1900s, and although it has been illegal since the 1960s, the practice is still widespread within the music industry, even among popular and famous artists.
Of course, there are times that following the payola method can and has worked.
But promoting your music dishonestly prevents people from really getting to know your musical talent.
As a true artist, you want your fans to know you personally, and this can’t happen if you don’t have a story to tell about how you made it to the top.
In fact, people love to hear success stories that first began as failures.
This is something that fans can connect more with because everyone experiences some sort of failure in life.
Therefore, it is the getting back up again and never giving up that inspires people.
So if you want to be the artist that you have always dreamed to be, then it is important that you set the example for others to follow.
What Are Ways to Promote Legally?
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can promote your music on Spotify legally and honestly.
On that note, my article on How To Make The Most Of Organic Spotify Promotion will help you to know what organic Spotify promotion is and gain some ideas on where you can start to promote your music for free or without any financial requirements.
If you did want to invest in professional help, then we at SoundCampaign can be there for you.
Our main role for artists, especially new artists or those that are just beginning is to introduce them to Spotify playlist curators.
That way, instead of having to buy Spotify playlist placement illegally, we help to increase your chance to submit to Spotify playlists.
This happens because we present your song to our connection with thousands of playlist curators that are scattered worldwide.
So you are actually allowing us to help you the right way by being introduced to playlist curators that may add your song to their playlists because they like you rather than being paid to do so.
As a result, you can rely more on your talent as an artist rather than the amount of money you pay people.
How Do You Avoid Payola Scams?
Despite payola being illegal, there are still many music promotion services out there that offer this practice as a service.
Luckily, there are some obvious signs that can help you to avoid them.
One of these is if you are asked to pay for a service that lands you on a curator’s playlist immediately.
Unlike with us at SoundCampaign, we only introduce you to the curator, and it is up to them (or how good your song is) if they add you to their playlist or not.
Another sign to keep an eye out for is if you are paying a service to stream or play your songs.
If that music promotion platform or company guarantees you a certain number of streams or plays for a fixed-price, then it is clearly a form of payola.
So as you avoid these two main and obvious signs, you can prevent yourself from partaking in illegal activities.
It is true that there are a lot of perks to paying people off to gain listeners or build your fan base.
But there is no self-fulfillment in this practice.
This is why payola has become illegal in its early stage.
Even music companies recognized that this method of music promotion was not only unfair but also resulted in false or bad artists taking over talented ones that people actually wanted to hear from.
So if you want to make it big within the music industry or get on Spotify playlists, then you should do the work for it.
After all, as the saying goes, “You reap what you sow.”