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Hype Machine tackling payola blog posts

By | Published on Friday 22 May 2015

The Hype Machine

With the emerging business of playlist payola being discussed at CMU@TGE last Friday, earlier this week the founder of Hype Machine, Anthony Volodkin, posted about his company’s efforts to stop those pesky music marketers from buying their way onto blogs, so that their artists and releases appear higher than they should in music blog aggregator’s charts.

Referring to a growing trend, Volodkin wrote: “A handful of labels and PR outlets have focused their efforts on illicitly gaining coverage on Hype Machine-indexed blogs. The most common approach is to become a contributor at an established blog and post their clients (or clients their friends are promoting). For maximum impact, the same person would then get a spot at multiple blogs to create the appearance of broader support for the release”.

He goes on: “In some cases, the people running these blogs were aware of this, in others these discoveries have come as a surprise. We have stopped indexing blogs that support such behaviour or do not select their writers carefully. There are a few reasons why it’s important for us that this does not continue on Hype Machine”.

“First, you should be able to listen to a track knowing that it was posted because the writer thinks it’s good – not because they’re a client. And second, by creating a false sense of popularity for their artists, marketers can manipulate you into liking the music they are paid to promote”.

He concluded: “While blogs are an integral part of music marketing in 2015, we want to support bloggers, labels, and PR agencies that operate with integrity”.