The Future of Music Coalition has released a report detailing the grim state of indie airplay on commercial radio stations.
The data, drawn from Mediaguide playlists for seven specific music formats (AC, Urban AC, Active Rock, Country, CHR Pop, Triple A Commercial and Triple A Non-commercial), indicates almost no change in station playlist composition between 2005 and 2008. Major label songs consistently secured 78-82% of airplay.
The format data showed some modest increases in airplay for indies on some formats (Country and AAA Non-Commercial, in particular) but otherwise the data from year to year changed very little.
The lack of movement is particularly noteworthy because in April 2007, the Federal Communications Commission issued consent decrees against the nation's four largest radio station group owners -- Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Citadel and Entercom -- as a response to collected evidence and widespread allegations about payola influencing what gets played on the radio.
In addition to paying fines totaling $12.5 million, the station group owners also worked with the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) to draft eight "Rules of Engagement" and an "indie set-aside," in which these four group owners voluntarily agreed to collectively air 4,200 hours of local, regional and unsigned artists, and artists affiliated with independent labels.