The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) and SAG-AFTRA announced that the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund has distributed $62 million in royalties to session musicians and singers — the largest distribution in the fund’s history.
The fund distributes domestic royalties that are required to be paid from interactive digital streaming providers to session vocalists and musicians. The fund also distributes royalties from various foreign performance rights organizations to U.S. session musicians and singers. More than 42,000 session musicians and singers in all 50 states, as well as Canada and other countries, will receive payment, with payment amounts averaging $1,500. The fund distributed $60 million in 2019 and has distributed more than $430 million since it was established in 2008.
“This is great news at such a difficult time for musicians. This fund provides for session players who live gig to gig, and there has never been a greater need for royalty income than right now, with the extensive cancellation of live performances,” said AFM International President Ray Hair.
“The music industry has been massively impacted by COVID-19, and no one more so than performers whose touring work has been halted and whose recordings are mostly cancelled. We’re proud of the fund’s commitment and diligence in ensuring that the distribution of royalties will reach tens of thousands of performers at a time when that financial security is needed more than ever,” said SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
“I am incredibly proud of our staff, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that this distribution went out on schedule to the performers who so greatly need it during these difficult economic times. Their dedication to the mission of the fund and its participants is unparalleled,” added distribution fund CEO Stefanie Taub.
Hair and Crabtree-Ireland also stated there is insufficient information to process payments for some performers and encouraged all musicians and vocalists to visit afmsagaftrafund.org/unclaimed-royalties.php to see if they may be owed a distribution of funds.
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