I’m a lifelong amateur musician, but (or, maybe, therefore?), I’ve never understood why bribes influencing record exposure shocks so many people.
If you accept that the music business is just that, then why wouldn’t you expect its principals to take any legitimate steps to maximize revenue? (I realize that if public outrage leads to laws against it, it isn’t legitimate anymore).
But I think the music business feeds the appearance of a pure meritocracy, to convince people that if they’re hearing a song that Dick Clark is playing on his show, it’s because “industry experts” (and other people) said it’s a ‘good’ song.
Which entails acting “shocked, shocked” at revelations of payola.
Do you really think there’s much difference between an advertisement from Ford Motors extolling the quality of their latest model and a radio disk jockey plugging the latest blockbuster hit?
Apologies for the hijack…