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


President’s Message


Ray Hair – AFM International President

    Build Audiences with MPTF— Musicians Will Beat a Path to Your Door

    As previously reported, new streaming and licensing
    revenue from the sound recording industry via the Federation’s 2017 Sound
    Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA), has infused new money into the AFM-EP Fund
    and has revitalized both the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund (SPF) and
    the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF). MPTF, throughout its more than 70-year
    history, has worked closely with officers and staff of AFM locals to co-sponsor
    thousands of live, admission-free musical performances each year throughout the
    United States and Canada.

    MPTF was nearly out of money in 2016 and was forced
    to plan for the unwinding of its operations and the eventual cessation of
    business, pending the outcome of our negotiations with the labels. The problem
    was the changing trends in music consumption. From its inception in 1944 in
    settlement of a strike with the record labels, MPTF revenue was derived from a
    small royalty on sales of physical product, such as vinyl records, cassette
    tapes, and compact discs. Today, with 90% of label revenue attributable to
    streaming, MPTF and SPF would be out of business without streaming royalties to
    replace and reverse the decline in revenue from physical product.

    Here is the good news: By the March 31, 2020 close
    of its current fiscal year, MPTF will have provided over $1 million in
    co-sponsorship funding during that 12-month period, compared to less than
    $500,000 in funding during the 2016 period. MPTF Trustee Dan Beck has advised
    that the April 2020 funding allocations will continue to rise due to the growth
    of streaming revenue.

    The favorable developments concerning future MPTF
    funding underscore the need for locals and their members to work together to
    develop popular, successful performance programs that will benefit your
    community and generate new employment. Dynamic and diverse programs will build
    appreciative audiences, and promote recognition for MPTF, the Federation, our
    locals and our members year after year. A great local MPTF program works
    wonders for membership recruitment and retention.

    Legendary jazz drummer and University of North Texas Professor of Music Ed Soph leads an MPTF project performance in Denton, Texas, at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. He was accompanied by UNT jazz faculty colleagues Mike Steinel, trumpet, and Rosana Eckert, vocals. All are members of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas).

    A well-rounded local MPTF program is built by
    fostering a variety of constructive, enduring relationships with producers of
    admission-free public events and with schedulers of entertainment for
    institutional purposes, such as hospitals and assisted living centers. Local
    community-based institutions, arts and civic organizations, neighborhood
    associations and entities that manage entertainment events and recreational
    programs for city parks, indoor and outdoor shopping malls, and suburban town squares,
    are always on the lookout for dependable partners that can provide first-rate
    talent for events that will promote goodwill for their venues.

    How can you identify potential MPTF co-sponsors in
    your area? Your local city, county, and state arts councils are a good place to
    start. Arts councils, many funded in part by the National Endowment for the
    Arts, provide foundational support for community-based arts organizations,
    including some that may offer admission-free programs of professional musical performances.

    A big buzzword in the arts council world is
    “collaboration.” The prospect of access to MPTF funding could encourage arts
    council officials to promote partnerships with locals and community affiliates
    for the presentation of public musical performances.

    Visit with your area shopping malls, neighborhood
    associations, shop owner “main street” associations, and city parks and
    recreation departments. Invariably, there is someone employed by those
    organizations to create free entertainment programs for the enjoyment of
    patrons and citizens of their communities. Find out who selects the musical
    offerings for those programs and contact them to pitch the obvious benefit of
    MPTF co-funding and local union talent. Any program coordinator juggling an
    entertainment budget will listen intently when it dawns on them that not only
    can you deliver first-rate talent, you’ll also help them pay for it.

    Another area of interest is the promotion of
    MPTF-funded programs of musical performances by professional musicians in
    public schools. A programming opportunity may arise if an established ensemble
    of professional musicians seeks to partner with a public school system to
    present concerts for elementary, middle school, and high school students in the
    public schools. MPTF can help where public school budgets have limited or no
    money for such programs and, particularly, where music department directors and
    school superintendents understand the educational benefit of enabling students
    to see and hear musical performances presented by outstanding professional
    musicians. In-school concerts by suburban symphony orchestras, jazz ensembles
    and big bands, and other musical styles are another creative way to introduce
    the community to the advantages of MPTF co-sponsorship.

    Community leaders are always seeking recognition.
    They receive it by sponsoring and promoting public events where families can
    come together and enjoy good music in a community setting—the park, the town
    square, the mall, the neighborhood, the school auditorium. Not only do we
    perform the music, but, through MPTF, we can help our communities afford it.

    Go out into your communities and look for opportunities to
    apply the MPTF advantage. Build a balanced performance program by establishing
    productive institutional, community-based, and business-related partnerships to
    bring fine musical performances to an appreciative public. Build a program that
    builds audiences, and every musician in town—and your community—will beat a
    path to your door.

    Legendary jazz drummer and University of North Texas
    Professor of Music Ed Soph leads an MPTF project performance in Denton,
    Texas, at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. He was accompanied by UNT jazz
    faculty colleagues Mike Steinel, trumpet, and Rosana Eckert, vocals. All are members
    of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas).

    Read More

    Agreement Reached with Motion Picture-TV Film Producers

    I am pleased to report that on November 22, after weeks of intense negotiations beginning in March of this year and continuing in October and November, an agreement was reached with major Hollywood-based film producers and their Television Film counterparts. The agreement extends the existing Theatrical and Television Motion Picture Film Agreements for two years with successive yearly 3% wage increases and other significant contract improvements, subject to ratification vote by eligible musicians.

    The two-year agreement makes significant progress in key areas. First, the terms and conditions of employment applicable to musicians employed on high budget subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) programs will no longer be freely negotiable. Rather, the terms and conditions in the TV Film Agreement will apply, except that paragraph 62 of the agreement (providing a discount for the first 25 episodes of a series) will not apply to high-budget SVOD productions. Second, the producers have agreed to include screen credits for musicians on theatrical motion pictures and on high-budget SVOD programs that are 96 minutes or more in length. In addition, royalty payments to musicians for paid permanent downloads, now worth about $2.5 million per year, will be increased by 50%.

    Although we were unable to attain our primary goal of realizing a meaningful residual on content made for initial exhibition on advertiser-supported streaming (AVOD) and SVOD platforms, the Federation is committed to continuing our pressure campaign toward the producers during the ensuing two-year contract interval after ratification, which I have referred to as a short-term “truce.” In my view, there will not be true labor peace between the Federation and the producers until a made-for-streaming residual is accomplished.

    The Negotiating Atmosphere

    In April of 2019, after meeting with the studios in March and experiencing their overwhelming inflexibility and intransigence—in effect, a refusal to negotiate—over fair residual compensation on content made for initial exhibition on streaming platforms, the Federation committed resources to hire organizers and also research personnel to partner with musicians in the television and film workplace to develop a campaign of concerted activity for improved contract compensation and working conditions, particularly where content is scored for streaming platforms. Soon thereafter, the #BandTogether campaign was launched, a member-driven program of action-oriented mobilizations designed to bring musicians’ issues to the public, to the studios, and their executives. Please see additional information about the campaign at

    BandTogether had a measurable impact on industry’s attitude towards these negotiations. Numerous demonstrations by musicians in Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York brought the campaign directly and literally to the producers’ doors. The level and intensity of rank and file engagement led producers to understand that they could not continue to impose concessions and refuse to address the concerns of the Federation, its locals, and its members against the backdrop of rapidly changing patterns in audiovisual consumption that were creating immense economic advantages for the producers, and distinct disadvantages for musicians and their families. The studios realized they had to make substantive counter-proposals across the table, on the record, that would address musicians’ well-articulated needs and priorities, in order to achieve even this short-term truce and achieve an agreement that would ratify.

    Terms and Conditions for High Budget SVOD

    Under the new agreement, all terms and conditions of the TV Film Agreement will apply to original and derivative dramatic programs made for initial exhibition on subscription streaming platforms when such programs meet the following budget thresholds: a) $1.3 million for a 20-35 minute program; b) $2.5 million for a 36-65 minute program; and c) $3 million for a program 66 minutes or longer. Formerly, the producers were permitted to freely negotiate wages and conditions of streaming production projects with musicians directly, which sometimes led to the imposition of conditions of employment that were below those considered to be industry standard, and thus unacceptable.

    Screen Credits on Theatrical Motion Pictures and Certain High Budget SVOD Programs

    For the first time in history, producers have agreed to accord screen credits to musicians employed in the scoring of theatrical motion pictures, and also for high budget SVOD productions of 96 minutes in length or more, with a budget over $30 million ($45 million for animated SVOD programs). With the proliferation of screen credits over the past four decades, and with credit given to practically everyone associated with a production except the musicians who perform the score, requiring the inclusion of scoring musicians in the credit roll of a production was one of the Federation’s top priorities.

    The producers introduced a number of onerous proposals, many of which they tried and failed to achieve in the last negotiating season, that the Federation rejected and that the producers eventually withdrew.

    I want to take this opportunity to offer my sincerest thanks to the many talented musicians who volunteered their time and energy on behalf of their colleagues to engage in concerted #BandTogether campaign activities, which made a real difference during these negotiations: members of the International Executive Board – International Vice President and Portland, Oregon Local 99 President Bruce Fife, Vice President From Canada Alan Willaert, Federation Secretary-Treasurer Jay Blumenthal, Executive Officer and Los Angeles Local 47 President John Acosta, Executive Officer and Nashville Local 257 President Dave Pomeroy; Recording Musicians Association International President Marc Sazer and rank and file representative Don Foster, who, together with local union officers and representatives from across the Federation, spent countless hours working to identify, articulate, and prioritize workplace issues in advance of and during the negotiations.

    I would like to especially thank the small group we put together at the conclusion of negotiations—Local 47 Vice President Rick Baptist, IEB member Dave Pomeroy, RMA President Marc Sazer, and rank and file musician Jason Poss, who was such an immense help to his colleagues and to me personally during the course of the negotiations and in the organizing campaign. The concerted activities of our talented members were guided by an outstanding and committed team of organizers, led by Federation Organizing and Education Director Michael Manley, and which included Federation Lead Organizer Alex Weisendanger, Local 47 Organizer Jefferson Kemper, and other Local 47 officers and staff.

    We had the benefit of superb legal representation from Federation in-house counsel Jennifer Garner and Russ Naymark, and outside counsel Susan Davis of Cohen, Weiss and Simon. Lastly, my thanks go to Electronic Media Services Division Director Pat Varriale, Assistant EMSD Director John Painting, contract administrator Matt Allen, Local 47 EMSD Director Roxanne Castillo, Federation Communications Director Rose Ryan, and all the other hardworking Federation and Local 47 officers and staff for their invaluable contributions throughout the process.

    We will reconvene our negotiations with the Hollywood studios in the fall of 2021. In the meantime, we will continue our campaign of concerted activity in support of our demand for fair residual compensation for made-for-streaming programs, and for fairness in every other Federation agreement.

    Read More

    Negotiations Roundup – A View of Talks in Progress

    The Federation’s negotiations with its bargaining partners in the US and Canada, whether on an industry-wide, single- or multi-employer basis, are a never-ending process. Other than contracts with touring theatrical producers such as the Broadway League, most of our negotiations are with producers and distributors of media content when musicians are engaged to perform electronic media services, whether streamed, broadcast live, or captured for analog or digital distribution.

    Our purpose is to improve the wages and conditions, health benefit and
    pension contributions when we create the content exploited by the producers. We
    also negotiate for additional compensation when content is re-played or re-used
    in domestic and foreign analog markets, and when content is distributed
    digitally by subscription video on-demand (SVOD) or advertiser-based video
    on-demand services (AVOD).

    Our program of collective bargaining and contract enforcement is
    aggressive, and is accompanied by a member-driven program of concerted
    activity, led by the Federation’s organizing department with assistance from
    locals and also with financial support authorized by the International
    Executive Board.

    The Federation’s emphasis
    in all of its media negotiations is streaming, and the potential of digital
    distribution to provide new money for musicians whose services are embodied in
    streaming content, and also for our residual and benefit funds. Media
    consumption has transitioned away from traditional physical products such as
    compact discs and DVDs toward digital formats and streaming. As a result, we
    are bargaining for our digital future—concentrating on replacing musicians’
    declining residual revenue from traditional physical and analog sources with
    revenue from digital media distribution.

    What follows is a
    thumbnail sketch of negotiations and talks in progress:

    Motion Picture TV
    Film and TV musicians are engaged in a heated campaign toward the
    studios to obtain and improve industry-standard wages, conditions, and residual
    payments when content is made for streaming. The Federation and the Alliance of
    Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have operated under a contract
    extension (with annual wage increases) following the April 5, 2018 expiration
    of the predecessor agreement.

    As major film and
    television studios prepare to launch their own streaming platforms, they are
    refusing to bargain a fair deal for the musicians who work for them. Musicians
    have traditionally received a small portion of secondary-market revenue from
    the films and TV shows they work on, along with actors, writers, and directors.
    But, in the production of content made for streaming, the major studios are
    excluding musicians from their fair share, effectively reducing musicians’
    overall pay.

    The existing AMPTP agreement covers sidelining, scoring, and music preparation services for theatrical motion pictures and films made for television, whether distributed traditionally or digitally. We will continue to address these concerns when discussions reconvene on November 20 (which will occur after this issue of the IM goes to print). Please visit for the most up-to-date information on our members’ campaign for fairness in the making of content for original streaming productions.

    Commercial Announcements (Jingles). The production agreement between the Federation and the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies is set to expire on March 31, 2020. The existing agreement, negotiated in June 2014, achieved significant increases in pay and pension benefits for exhibition of online commercial announcements. However, we expect that discussions next year toward a successor agreement will necessarily focus on an uptick in the licensing of pre-existing tracks by advertisers and their agencies, which has resulted in a reduction in the production and use of new, original recordings for jingle content.

    Live Television. Negotiations
    began in 2016 with the TV broadcast networks for a successor agreement covering
    musicians performing on all live or pre-recorded television shows, including
    all late night talk shows, all variety shows such as Dancing With The Stars,
    awards shows such as the Grammys, and live morning shows where guest artists
    frequently appear. After five rounds of formal negotiations and additional
    informal meetings spanning three years, the networks have finally begun to
    address the Federation’s proposals covering streamed distribution of program

    Intense concerted
    activity by musicians working in the TV and film scoring workplace, in an
    effort to achieve fairness on streaming issues, helped open the door toward
    more realistic conversations with the producers and networks on those issues.
    Our next round of negotiations with the networks will occur early next year.

    Pamphlet B
    The Federation’s “Pamphlet B” agreement is negotiated with
    the New York City-based Broadway League and establishes wages and conditions of
    employment for musicians working on the road in touring theatrical musical
    productions. The contract is administered by the Federation’s Touring and
    Booking Division headed by my assistant, Tino Gagliardi, and will expire March
    15, 2020.

    Historically, Pamphlet B
    provisions cover only musicians traveling with the show. It does not set wages
    and conditions for local musicians who are engaged to augment or replace
    traveling musicians in the cities and jurisdictions where the shows are eventually
    booked. But beginning in 1992, provisions in the contract were modified and
    implemented to allow producers to restrict and reduce the allocation of work
    between local musicians and touring musicians previously governed by local
    collective bargaining agreements.

    The tension in the distribution of touring employment and
    attempts by producers to avoid hiring local musicians will again figure
    prominently in our discussions. As the Federation prepares for Pamphlet B
    negotiations, we will meet with stakeholders to help identify, articulate, and
    prioritize our members’ needs and develop plans of action to address those

    Read More

    New IEB, Division Director, and International Representative Appointments

    I am pleased to announce that the International Executive Board has appointed Terryl Jares, president of the Chicago Federation of Musicians, Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL), to fill the unexpired term of Tino Gagliardi, former president of New York City Local 802, who resigned his IEB seat to accept my appointment as director of the Federation’s Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division and also as International Representative assisting locals located in the Eastern United States.

    International Officer Jares has served Local 10-208 continuously since 1995, first as a member of the local’s board of directors, then as the first woman to be elected vice president in 2004, and also as the first woman to be elected president of Local 10-208, a position she has held since 2016. She has served as an AFM convention delegate since 2003, most recently in 2019 as a member of the convention Finance Committee.
    Terryl graduated from Illinois State University with an applied performance degree in violin and viola, and also with a degree in music education. She has performed in theatrical pit orchestras throughout the Chicago area and has toured across the United States performing with theatrical and orchestral productions. Terryl is an executive vice president of the Illinois AFL-CIO and an officer of the Chicago Entertainment Industry Labor Council.

    Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division Director Tino Gagliardi served as president and executive director of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802, from 2009 until 2018, and was elected to the International Executive Board four times, initially in 2010 and most recently in June 2019. Tino is a graduate of the University of Hartford and its Hartt School of Music, and enjoyed a decades-long career as a lead trumpet player, touring the world as a member of Broadway show pit orchestras performing under Pamphlet B and also as a pit orchestra member in every Broadway theater.
    During his performing career, Tino was a regular in New York City’s concert, club date, and recording fields. As president of Local 802, he led the negotiations for Broadway, the Lincoln Center resident orchestras, and Radio City. Tino is a trustee to the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund and the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. In addition to his role as director of the Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division, Tino will serve as International Representative to locals in the Eastern US, assuming the duties of Gene Tournour, who recently retired from that position after nearly 25 years of service.

    Previous Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division Director George Fiddler has accepted my appointment as director of Immigration Services, and will review and administer the day-to-day receipt of information from employers and from foreign musicians who seek visa consultation and advice from the Federation for submission to the US Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition to his immigration services duties, George will also assist Director Gagliardi as associate director of the Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division, particularly in anticipation of the opening of negotiations for a successor Pamphlet B agreement covering the services of musicians employed across the United States and Canada in theatrical touring productions.
    George is a graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, and worked at Radio City Music Hall, and also in the freelance and club date scene in New York City for decades. He began his work with the Federation in 2008 supervising visa consultation requests from foreign booking agents and musicians, and later served as interim director of the Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division.

    Steve Begnoche, former trustee of Austin, Texas Local 433, has accepted my appointment as International Representative for the southern United States, stepping into the shoes of retiring International Rep Gerald “Cass” Acosta of Shreveport, Louisiana, who held that post for nearly 20 years. Steve is a percussionist who holds a music degree from the University of Hartford and the Hartt School of Music. He served Local 23 (San Antonio, TX) and Local 65-699 (Houston, TX) as an executive administrative assistant, where he oversaw office operations and multiple service programs, including job referrals, Music Performance Trust Fund project development, and organizing membership and recruitment drives.
    I extend my best wishes to former International Representatives Cass Acosta and Gene Tournour for an amazing and well-deserved retirement, and I hope that Cass and Gene will now have the time to do the things they never had the time to do. I also welcome Executive Officer Terryl Jares, Theatre, Touring, and Booking Director and International Representative Tino Gagliardi, Immigration Services Director George Fiddler, and International Representative Steve Begnoche to their new roles and duties in furtherance of the mission and goals of the Federation, our locals, and our members. I am looking forward to working with each of you, as we strive to improve the lives of musicians everywhere.

    Read More

    Campaign for Fairness in Streaming Media Continues with Film Negotiations

    With the 101st AFM Convention now in the rearview mirror and the annual August marathon of player conference meetings concluded, the Federation has turned its attention toward its collective bargaining objectives in television and motion picture film scoring, live television production, sound recording production, touring theatrical musicals, and public radio and public television.

    First and most immediate in our procession of industry-wide negotiations toward acceptable successor agreements is the resumption of discussions with television and theatrical film producers to obtain industry-standard wage and residual patterns in the scoring of soundtrack for programs made for New Media. “New Media” is a term of art to describe content produced for on-demand consumption on streaming platforms that are either advertiser-supported (AVOD) or subscriber-based (SVOD). Our existing contract extension with the film industry expires November 14. Negotiations with signatory film producers are set to begin October 7 in Los Angeles.

    In March of this year, as in March of 2018, the
    Federation and film producers agreed to extend the agreement previously
    concluded in 2015—with increases to session wages in traditional media—because
    the parties deemed a short-term contract solution as a better alternative to
    the existing deadlock resulting from the producers’ failure to adequately
    address the Federation’s goal of achieving acceptable wage and residual
    patterns for the scoring of tracks for original streaming media.

    In recent years, the rise of streaming as a
    preferred model of digital distribution and consumption has radically
    transformed the media marketplace. Worldwide, audiences have accelerated toward
    both advertiser-supported and subscription-based consumption models that
    benefit digital service providers, producers, and other stakeholders, but
    studios have refused to bargain progressive terms for musicians in streaming
    media to augment the existing residual provisions in traditional media.

    There is no shortage of news about the rise of online
    streaming services and the impact upon the relationship between consumers and
    traditional media—live television broadcasts, cable and satellite TV, the sale
    of DVDs, and the movie box office. The generational difference in consumer
    preferences has seen subscribers migrate to subscriber-based streaming
    platforms like Netflix and Amazon as viewers trend away from traditional media.

    Over the past few years, the TV networks and film
    studios have agreed to make meaningful residual payments and have increased pension
    and health contributions to singers, actors, writers, and directors when
    content is made for streaming, but have refused to do so for musicians. It is
    unconscionable that these wealthy global companies have decided that some
    digital content creators deserve compensation that reflects the value of their
    work, but that musicians don’t. Any industry trend toward a streaming
    distribution model that excludes a residual compensation and pension
    contribution basis for musicians, who contribute as much or more to a film as
    anyone else, is unacceptable and due for an all-out fight for fairness.

    film negotiations
    AFM members across the country have launched the #BandTogether campaign to demand a fair contract from major studios, including Disney, ABC, Warner Bros, CBS, MGM, Sony, Paramount, NBCUniversal, and others. On Labor Day, more than 80 AFM Local 47 musicians marched in solidarity in the annual parade at Banning Park in Los Angeles promoting #BandTogether.

    The Federation has had constructive agreements with
    the film industry since the 1930s and with the television networks since the
    early 1950s. Over the decades, the livelihoods of thousands of talented
    musicians have been substantially supported by Federation film and television
    agreements. A distribution model lacking fair session wages, pension
    contributions, and a residual compensation base would dramatically and negatively
    impact musicians’ lives. Newer generations of musicians would be unable to
    sustain a middle-class lifestyle, support families, or retire in dignity.

    AFM members across the country have launched the #BandTogether
    to demand a fair contract in new media from TV and theatrical
    film producers and are engaging in concerted activity in their fight for
    respect from the producers. Musicians also know that their pension fund needs
    additional employer contributions, and that the flood of money toward digital
    media is a place to get those contributions.

    As I’ve previously reported, digital revenue in the
    entertainment and media industry totaled $616 billion in 2013 worldwide. That
    figure was expected to rise to $1 trillion last year. Against this dramatic
    rise in industry revenue and profits, the Federation, its locals, and its
    members have no choice but to address the glaring disparity between those who
    create and those who exploit, particularly at a time when the major
    studios—Warner, Disney, Universal and CBS—are launching their own streaming
    platforms and refusing to pay musicians standard wages, pension contributions,
    and residuals for content made for those platforms.

    When we resume our meetings with film studios in
    October, the Federation will continue to seek a fair bargain when musicians are
    employed to score original programs for AVOD and SVOD platforms. Some sore
    points are as follows:

    Standardized wages and industry-standard
    Why should musicians, unlike other creative artists in the
    film industry, be forced to accept sub-standard wages and benefits, and forego
    residuals when employed for a streaming production? How rich do the producers,
    the studios, and their investors need to be before musicians, who are as
    important as anyone else in the film, are treated fairly?

    Industry-standard Electronic Sell Through
    (EST) provisions.
    If a covered motion picture is sold or rented from a
    cable or satellite TV service or streaming platform (Netflix or Amazon, for
    example), musicians should receive a fair, industry-standard residual, like
    other creative artists do.

    Screen Credits. Every musician,
    orchestrator, and copyist employed under the Federation’s film and television
    contracts should be credited in the crawl at the end of the show. Everyone who
    worked on the production gets credited, including the principal and assistant
    coffee runners. What about musicians? The composer is always prominently
    billed, but keep watching the credits roll to see the conductor, the music-prep
    office, the recording studio and engineer, the music contractor, and every
    other music-related entity from whom not one note of music emanated or was
    captured and memorialized in the recording of the film score. Each musician
    whose sound is embodied in the score should receive screen credit.

    I will report on the results of the Federation’s discussions
    with the film industry in this column next month.

    Read More