Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit


Electronic Media Services

Theatrical, TV Film, and Made for New Media Motion Picture Sideline Work

In recent years, there has been an increase in the amount of sideline work across the US and Canada for television and motion picture productions. Adding to this growth are Made for New Media productions. Because of the diversity of shooting locations, in towns and cities both large and small, I regularly receive calls from […]

Internet Streaming in the COVID Era

When the world came crashing to a standstill in March, the music world didn’t stop with it; it just shifted to a different set of platforms. And sure, if all you’ve known before is the tour bus, live venues, and the traditional recording studio, it might feel like the world as you know it did […]

EMSD and SSD – Working Together to Cover All the Bases

Over the years, the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) and the Symphonic Services Division (SSD) have consulted on certain electronic media projects involving symphony, opera, ballet, or chamber orchestras. This is because some projects have a tendency to “crossover” from a true symphonic nature to non-symphonic. There are usually several factors in determining when an […]

Welcome to the 2020 EMSD Special Issue

Welcome to this month’s issue of the International Musician, which focuses on the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD)—the division of the AFM charged with serving the interests of non-symphonic recording musicians. (Symphonic orchestras are handled solely by the AFM Symphonic Services Division – SSD). The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many aspects of the AFM. Electronic […]

Meet the EMSD Staff 2020

As we so frequently get caught up in day-to-day business and the pursuit of agreements and payments, it can be difficult to make time to get to know each other. The following EMSD “who’s who” puts faces with names and summarizes job responsibilities for our EMSD staff. West Coast Office Aksinia Dintcheva: Aksinia is part […]

Union Contracts Come Up Big During Pandemic

In this troubled and uncertain time where there has been a dramatic decrease in live work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a certain amount of solace in knowing that projects recorded under AFM agreements administered by the Electronic Media Services Division can and have resulted in much needed income for musicians.

The Truth About Non-Disclosure Agreements

The purpose of the NDA is to preserve confidential information including songs, vocal arrangements, and other creative artistic matters that have not been performed publicly.

Coronavirus Impact on Electronic Media Projects – Special Agreements

In an effort to address the impact of COVID-19 for non-symphonic situations, the EMSD has established guidelines for potential waivers.

New Noise for New Use

en français When it comes to musicians receiving the proper residual payments in Canada’s television and film industry, productions have been getting away with murder. Enough was enough. It was time to invest in the Electronic Media Services Division and make some new noise with the major labels, independent producers, and music supervisors across Canada—that’s […]

Meet the Canadian EMSD Staff

Meet the Canadian Electronic Services Department Staff

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