noun[mass noun] chiefly North American
The practice of bribing someone in return for the unofficial promotion of a product in the media: if a record company spends enough money on payola, it can make any record a hit
More example sentences
- Artists and publishers have incentives to engage in payola because copyrights allow them to collect rent on each song played or record sold.
- Similarly, his worries about drugs, payola, and other perils of the music industry prompted him to sell RCA Records too quickly and cheaply.
- Now for the past 50 years, we have done everything we could to get music on the radio, including at one time payola.
1930s: from pay1 + -ola as in Victrola, the name of a make of gramophone.
Definition of payola in:
- The US English dictionary