AFM, SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Fund Distributing $70 Million in Royalties

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on May 5, 2021.

Some 50,000 session musicians and background singers will be sharing more than $70 million in royalties collected by the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund – the largest distribution in the fund’s history. The average payment is about $1,500, but some performers are receiving well above that amount. Checks started going out April 30.

The not-for-profit organization collects and distributes royalties to non-featured performers on sound recordings for songs played on satellite radio, non-interactive streaming, and other digital formats domestically and internationally. As digital platforms have grown, so has the fund’s collections and distributions. Since its inception in 2008, the fund has distributed more than $500 million to participants and their beneficiaries. It distributed more than $62 million last year and $60 million in 2019.

“Every year, we’ve been able to collect more revenue on behalf of our participants,” said Sidney Kibodeaux White, the fund’s chief operating officer. “Given the enormous impact the pandemic has had on the ability to earn a living on both instrumentalists and vocalists, we are thrilled to be able to assist non-featured performers by collecting and distributing royalty income they might not know they’re entitled to receive. Unlike other rights collectives, there is no membership or registration requirement in order to qualify – as long as a musician participates as a non-featured performer on a covered sound recording, that musician is considered a ‘participant’ for distribution purposes.” …

Deadline Hollywood 5/4

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at