Musicians who record, sideline (perform on-camera) and prepare music for films, TV, and radio have secured contracts with minimum hourly wages, pension and health benefits. They receive “new use” payments when their product is used in other mediums (e.g., using recordings in films, TV, commercials, etc.), and can also share in the proceeds from the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund and the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund.
Most film and TV work is covered by the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and TV Film Agreements including dramatic, non-dramatic, episodic and made for TV movies as well as theatrical motion pictures.
AFM’s Sound Recording Agreement sets minimum wages and working conditions for musicians (including those preparing music) working on audio recordings—both in the studio and on live performances that are recorded. Musicians recording under a union contract also share in the proceeds from the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund and receive “new use” payments when their product is used in other mediums (i.e. recordings later used in films, TV, commercials, etc.).
For over 75 years, musicians have had contracts with the major recording companies guaranteeing musicians a portion of sales. Most of the revenue was originally from record sales and later CD sales, but as technological advances have transformed the industry—our contracts have evolved to reflect these changes. In 1994 musicians negotiated their first contract requiring musicians are paid for digital transmissions including audio streaming, non-permanent downloads and ringbacks. Check out Sound Recording Resources to learn more.