The investigation relates to the companies' use of so-called "independent promoters": middlemen who are paid to plug new songs to radio stations. The practice has often been likened to payola -- direct payment in exchange for airplay of specific songs -- which has been illegal under federal law since the 1950s. It also includes more direct relations between the executives of record labels and radio stations.
Advertisements have always been negative priced content directed to increasing sales of other products. Radio airplay has long been seeking negative prices that have been expressed first as payola, then as independent promoters, and now as actual advertisements (this song is brought to you by