Dear FTC: We Receive Free Music

TuneLab has been reviewing albums for years now. Sometimes these albums are those that we have purchased, most of the time the albums have been sent to us in physical or digital form. The review is NEVER affected by the manner in which we receive said album.

The Federal Trade Commission just voted that as of December 1st, bloggers (which we fall under technically) must “clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.” (emphasis ours)

That’s kind of a tricky way of saying it. TuneLab does not get albums “for” reviewing an album. Well, it depends on which way you take it. We believe that the language is intended to mean getting albums as payment for, or as a thank you for, reviewing an album. In that case, we’re in the clear, because we do not accept gifts in exchange for album reviews. Obviously, we get sent the album “for a review, as in “in order to do a”. But again, it doesn’t impact its rating or manner of review.

On average, we probably review about 10% of the albums sent to us. They are sent unsolicited, and honestly about half don’t even fall under “rock”.

Whether or not we have to put a disclaimer on every review that came from an album sent to us as of December 1st is up for a lawyer to decide, but we have no problem coming right out with a preemptive disclaimer anyway. So yes, we get [some] albums for free, but not as a gift or payment, and it does not affect the review in any way.