Hip Hop Gossip

Aubrey O’Day Breaks Down Today’s Radio Payola Practices


But that’s illegal!

Last year, Aubrey O’Day went on “Sway In the Morning” and exposed modern day payola practices. The full interview has mysteriously and suspiciously disappeared from the Internet, but a clip has resurfaced in which she breaks down how much money artists of different genres pay to secure spots in radio rotation. Considering the Danity Kane member was on a radio show while pulling out these receipts about illegal radio practices, she got herself into some touchy territory. However, Sway weighs in on the topic, appearing to nod along in agreement. At one point, he even corrects Aubrey by interjecting, “That’s minimal,” while she is listing the prices that some pay for a hit record. 

“There’s a price on urban radio, there’s a price on pop radio and people don’t understand,” Aubrey says. “As independent artists, it’s like 60k for urban, 160k for pop, and it’s not the same type of payola that happened when everybody got busted for it when the program directors were collecting it, because now that’s illegal. It’s through an independent party, usually someone who worked for one of the majors – who had ben fired or left – and then they hustle these records influentially to the radio and if you have the right money and backing, you can do it to eliminate all other sources.” 

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