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Re: promo CDs

There is a little blurb in Brill's Content this month, quoted from another 
source, that in order to get free records and CDs, Steve Case of AOL, use to 
lie to record companies, telling them that he wrote for a Hawaiian-based teen 

I had a music fanzine off and on for six years as well as a talk/music show 
for many years, and I have never had a problem getting promos from indie 
labels or majors who were releasing stuff that would fit into my programming 
or writing. I found that even though I had small distribution (about 1000 
runs) or small wattage, record companies were keen on getting me stuff to 
review or play. 

I have heard from other sources, since I don't write music reviews or DJ much 
anymore, that labels have scaled down their promo sends in an effort to stop 
secondhand sales, the lifeblood of small stores like In Your Ear, Looney 
Tunes and Second Coming. 

In the old days, when "alternative rock" meant bands with cool hair and 
strange guitar sounds, labels would send 20 copies of a CD to radio stations 
in an effort to encourage airplay in already tight formats. Most DJs, in 
order to subsidize their already small incomes, would go right out with the 
extra CDs and sell them at used stores for money or trade to get stuff they 
really wanted. 

Then the major labels tried to get a ban on used CD sales by using this 
insipid copyright/songwriter royalties argument (which could have opened up a 
pandoras box towards anything used: books, furniture, cars, you name it). It 
thankfully failed. Instead, they seemed to have curbed the promos that they 
send out in order to discourage turnover sales by DJs and PDs.