While the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and their compatriots continue to downplay the importance of radio as they grasp at the potential of more revenue from the Performance Rights Act (PRA), there are some who have a more sensible view of how vital it is. Currently leading that group is Chris Brown.
Brown has received a lot of press — and little of it good — since he pled guilty last year to felony assault on his girlfriend of the time, pop star Rihanna. And now, when the R&B star finds the sales on his new CD flatlining, how does he react? By posting an audio plea to his fans to get him more airplay [CBreezy on SayNow]. That’s right, good old-fashioned broadcast airplay. MTV transcribed the important parts:
“Hey, what’s up, y’all? CB. I ain’t never really did this but right now I’m just calling ya’ll, I need all of my fans’ help,” he said in the 90-second clip. “I need all the fans that I have, I need y’all’s help. It’s crazy because a lot of radio stations … some radio stations aren’t playing my records. They’re not being that supportive and I wouldn’t expect them to. […]
“My singing and my music is all great, but I do it for you guys and everything else but it won’t be possible if I’m not relevant on the radio and it won’t be possible for me to be an artist if I don’t have any support from people that give me an artists outlet. I can’t be an underground mixtape artist!” Brown said with a laugh. “I just want all my fans to help me. I love y’all. Peace.” [Emphasis mine. -Loki]
So the lack of airplay following his scandal has hurt Brown badly. I’d be making pleas to my remaining fan base as well. Brown says it plainly in the quote above, “it won’t be possible if I’m not relevant on the radio.” At a time when the foreign-owned record labels and their ilk shout about how radio’s PR value to artists is negligible, it’s great to see a nice real world example like this.
Losing airplay hurt Chris Brown, pure and simple. I like Radio Business Report‘s comment on the situation:
RBR-TVBR observation: Brown should go to RIAA – they’ll let him know that it’s radio that’s irrelevant, not Chris Brown. Of course, that won’t help him move any CDs, but it will be in keeping with RIAA’s misguided attack on radio.