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Where Do I Begin?

If you’re about to hire musicians for a recording and you’re uncertain about how to file a union contract to cover that work, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re a musician being hired for a recording and don’t know what you’re supposed to get paid, you’ve also come to the right place.

The new AFM Electronic Media Services Resource Center is designed to steer you in the right direction!

We’ve reorganized our contract information to better help employers and musicians alike to find the resources they are looking for.

On the Electronic Media Services Division main page, you’ll find links to a wide variety of different types of media and you might find yourself overwhelmed. We want this process to be as straightforward as possible, so if you’re new to this, it might help to first explain why there is such a variety.

At a baseline level, there are two main parameters that determine how a musician should be paid for recording work: 1) the type of service they are performing and 2) the manner in which the recording of that service will be exhibited.

The type of service is the most important factor. Studio sessions to record album tracks are different from studio sessions to record film scores, and both are very different from appearances on a late-night television program.

But the manner in which the work will be exhibited is also important. Let’s say you’re budgeting for a new television singing competition series, which will require a house band to perform behind the competing vocalists. This type of work is clearly akin to our live television agreements, but different types of television have different types of broadcast patterns, so the terms for network television don’t fit for basic cable, public television, or premium channels like HBO. These formats each have their own agreement terms that fit the broadcast patterns required by those networks.

When you’re budgeting, you may not know the manner in which the work will be broadcast and that’s okay. Having access to wage scales for every agreement may help you decide if one format is out of your price range right off the bat.

As mentioned, the Resource Center is designed to steer you in the right direction by first offering links to a specific medium of exhibition and then any potential subdivisions of that medium.  As always, if you have any questions regarding the information on this site, feel free to contact the Federation or the AFM Local in which the work will take place.


The information is now organized by recording medium and further subdivided into subpages to help you find the correct agreement, wages, benefits, and filing instructions for your project.