In an uncharacteristically candid interview with Billboard, Spanish DJ Juan Magán spoke out against the cost and power of radio worldwide and the fact that radio airplay dictates awards-show winners.
“It’s not that I’m against awards,” the artist said. “Being against awards is silly. But the mechanism has snowballed and it’s grown and grown and there will come a day when getting airplay will cost $3 billion! It’s a huge ball where radio controls, they do A&R, they’re more in command than the labels themselves. They decide what plays, what doesn’t play, how much it costs and how many times it will play,” added Magan.
The DJ was in the Dominican Republic for the Premios Heat Latin Music Awards, which are produced by pan-regional Latin music network HTV. The awards will take place Thursday, with winners voted on by fans.
Magán’s display of sincerity began at an earlier press conference, when he was asked if being a DJ was a decision motivated by the burgeoning interest in dance music. Magan replied that he’s been in the field for years and has long been a supporter of new talent. However, he added, fostering new talent is increasingly difficult given the cost of getting airplay anywhere in the world.
“It’s unfair,” he told Billboard. “I started a long time ago and was able to get to a record label that placed their bets on me. But there are people out there who are great, infinitely better than me or anyone who’s been at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and they’ll never be known because the circuit is so closed and so expensive anywhere in the world. It’s a shame.”