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Our Musicians: Recording & Digital Media

Musicians working in recording and digital media have joined forces in AFM to fight for better pay, improved industry standards, healthcare, and a secure retirement. They perform on recordings—both in the studio and on live performances that are recorded. They record radio, TV and online commercials, film and video game scores, and appear on live and pre-recorded TV.

It’s not unusual for musicians to hear one of their recordings at the movies or while watching TV, prompting the question, “Am I due money for my music being used?” The answer is yes if you are a union musician. Musicians recording under a union contract usually receive “new use” fees including pension benefits when their recordings are re-used.

New use, sometimes called re-use, is when a recording is used outside of its intended purpose. For example, music originally recorded for a CD is later used on a TV show or in a commercial triggering a new use payment. New use payments apply for all types of original recorded music, including sound recordings, TV and film scores.

AFM musicians also receive payment when their music is licensed for use in formats outside of its intended use (e.g, theatrical film scores released to “supplemental markets” such as DVD, pay-tv, streaming, cable, and in-flight use) or when excerpts of their music are used (“clip use”).

EMSD Contract Toolkit

Designed to assist employers, local officers, administrators, as well as rank-and-file musicians, it is our hope that the step-by-step procedures and information found in these packets will help simplify the process of filing new work under AFM contracts.