Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Home » Recent News » How You Can Help Stop Payola

How You Can Help Stop Payola


Payola, the practice of record companies paying broadcasters to air their music on the radio, is bad for music and the music industry. It makes it nearly impossible for artists without a large label behind them to be played on commercial stations. In the past 20 years, mega broadcasters like iHeartMedia (Clear Channel), Entercom, and Cumulus have transformed commercial radio from a vibrant community forum into a virtual nationwide jukebox with the same songs and artists played over and over. Under current law, payola is only legal if it’s disclosed at the time a paid-for song is played, but that’s not to say the labels play by the rules. In 2007, investigators found such widespread evidence of payola that the broadcasters were forced to pay $12.5 million to settle claims. Now, these same broadcasters are trying to replace the required on-air disclosers with a note hidden on their station websites.

“If this were to happen, it would seal the deal for commercial radio just being a closed system for large media companies to promote their products,” Future of Music Coalition CEO Casey Rae tells The New York Times.

Find out how you can help stop payola and make your voice heard at

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