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 www.afm.org/join.

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Officer Columns, President's Message

Ray Hair – AFM International President

Three-Year Deal Reached with Sound Recording Industry

I am pleased to report that on January 11, 2023, the Federation reached an agreement with recording industry representatives for a successor Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA) for a period commencing the first Monday after ratification through January 31, 2026 (approximately three years). I am even more pleased to report that the agreement brings significant […]


Sound Recording Discussions Resume

The Federation will meet with sound recording industry representatives this month to continue discussions toward a progressive successor Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA). The existing predecessor agreement covered the period February 1, 2017, through January 31, 2020. It was extended by written agreement between the parties on the eve of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that […]


A Restructured MPTF Resulted in Pension, Film, TV, and Sound Recording Residuals

Part 2 of 2: Last month, my column discussed how former AFM President James Petrillo’s proposals to end two strikes against US recording companies—in 1942 and in 1948—led to the establishment of the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF). This month, I will describe how MPTF became a royalty feature of other major Federation media agreements, […]


Establishment of MPTF Led to the Formation of AFM’s Pension and Residual Funds

The Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in 2023. This article explores the establishment of the MPTF, which led to the formation of the AFM’s pension and residual funds. If you receive benefit payments from the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund, residual distributions from the Sound Recording Special […]


Ground Zero, Subzero

Note: As I am preparing this column for the October edition of the International Musician—today, September 11, 2022—America and the world pause on the 21st anniversary of the vicious attacks in New York City; Washington, DC; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Reprinted below is an article I wrote for our local newsletter as president of Local 72-147 […]


Ground Zero, Subzero

Note: As I am preparing this column for the October edition of the International Musician—today, September 11, 2022—America and the world pause on the 21st anniversary of the vicious attacks in New York City; Washington, DC; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Reprinted below is an article I wrote for our local newsletter as president of Local 72-147 […]


Performance Rights and New Media Glossary of Terms

This month I am providing a list of frequently used phrases and acronyms seen in print and heard in discussions involving new media and sound recording performance rights. This list consists of some terms that have evolved in the course of negotiations with media producers, relevant rights, legislation affecting music distribution and streaming, and finally […]


MPTF: Unlimited Opportunities for Local Recruitment and Retention

I was a 19-year-old college student when I first came in direct contact with the American Federation of Musicians. Of course, I’d heard about the musicians’ union and how it stood for good faith and fair dealing in the music business between musicians and unscrupulous employers, managers, and booking agents. As a young freelance musician, […]


Pamphlet B and Short Engagement Tour Agreements Ratified, Divisive Issues Remain

I am pleased to report that the Federation has completed discussions with representatives of the Broadway League and Disney Theatrical Productions for an extension of the Pamphlet B and Short Engagement Touring (SET) Theatrical Musicals agreement, which includes a 3% wage increase retroactive to April 25, 2022. The extension was promptly ratified and approved by musicians currently working under the agreements.


Streaming: Who Makes All the Money?

In the early days of the music industry’s transition from a retail sales-based economy to online consumption through the explosion of noninteractive streaming services such as SiriusXM satellite radio, Pandora, and the later rise of interactive subscription/rental businesses such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon, governmental statutory protection provided stability and fairness to labels and […]








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