Sony Drops 'On Air On Sale' U.K. Strategy

Singles will no longer be on sale as soon as they hit radio

Lady Gaga performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Sony has announced that it will be dropping its strategy of releasing singles to retail at the same time the songs are serviced to radio in the United Kingdom. The strategy, called On Air On Sale, was put into practice early this year by both Sony and Universal in the U.K., but has been largely abandoned in favor of "looking at each release on a case-by-case basis," according to a statement from Sony. Singles by Lady Gaga, Jessie J and the British rapper Chipmunk were released as part of this program.

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The plan, which was put into place largely to combat piracy in the period between the time a song hits radio and is available for sale, was not widely publicized, resulting in some listeners being unaware of the fact that they could buy the new tracks immediately. In other cases, the process of promoting a song before it becomes a hit was being truncated in a way that minimized their music's impact on the charts.