Thursday, June 15, 2006


Following on from their RIAA chums, EMI have paid up to avoid facing court action after being caught by Eliot Spitzer breaking the federal law against payola.

"EMI is pleased to have resolved these radio promotion matters with the New York State Attorney General with this agreement," the company said in a statement, which neither agreed with nor disputed Spitzer's allegations. "In addition to voluntarily adopting strict policies last year, we have been working cooperatively with the attorney general to reinforce these policies."

You hear that? They're delighted to be paying millions of dollars (USD3.75 million in this case.) And "radio promotion matters" - such a polite euphemism for "potential criminal charges".

Spitzer said the compensation for radio airplay was paid by EMI, which includes Virgin Records America, Capitol Records, EMI Christian Music Group and S Curve Records. One deal included tickets to a Rolling Stones concert in Toronto that were given to a radio program director for his personal use.

The radio executive in Watertown, N.Y., was willing to offer "what it takes for us to get them," according to Spitzer's investigation. In exchange for the tickets, Virgin Records received airplay for the Rolling Stones and The Exies.

Good lord, if you had a man offering to do whatever it took for tickets to see the Stones, wouldn't you demand something more interesting than a few spins of a disappointing late-period single?