by Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund Administrator Kim Roberts Hedgpeth
The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF) works to serve the film, television, and music communities and meet the needs of film musicians whose talents fuel the industry. To this end, the FMSMF is pleased to provide ongoing updates to AFM members through the International Musician.
Secondary Market Exploitation of Film and Television Continues to Grow!
The FMSMF closed its 2018 fiscal year with the highest level of contributions in FMSMF’s history. For the first time, residual contributions broke the $100 million threshold. When the books closed March 31, 2018, the FMSMF had received residuals of more than $107 million during fiscal year 2018, surpassing the record of $98.4 million set in FY2017.
The continued growth of contributions to the FMSMF during the past several years is a reassuring testament to the continued increase in revenue generated by sales in secondary markets, such as pay TV, DVDs, basic cable, and new media—with growth continuing to expand in the area of “new media” platforms, such as SVOD.
Residuals paid into FMSMF each year are a function of consumer demand and the resulting financial success of films, television programs, and new media projects in their respective secondary markets. There is no guarantee that the upward trend in residuals will continue in subsequent years because it is affected by consumer choices, the state of the overall economy, and other factors. However, FMSMF continues to work hard to ensure that residuals due to covered musicians are paid accurately and in a timely fashion.
FMSMF remitted more than 15,900 payments to musicians and their beneficiaries in its 2018 annual distribution.
Trends and fluctuations in various types of residual sources over the past seven years.
Secondary Market Residuals Support the AFM Pension Fund
FY2018 was the first fiscal year in which FMSMF forwarded a payment to the AFM-Employers Pension Fund (AFM-EPF), as now required by the 2015 AFM-AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) collective bargaining agreements, in order to support the health and funding status of the AFM-EPF. This payment, which allocates 1.5% of the annual residual contributions received by FMSMF and interest earnings to the AFM-EPF, became effective October 1, 2017. As a result, the FMSMF’s payment of more than $827,000 to the AFM-EPF covered the third and fourth quarters of the FMSMF’s 2018 fiscal year.
FY2019 will reflect a full 12-month allocation and remittance to the EPF from the FMSMF. The continued growth in secondary market residuals, if sustained and expanded in the future at levels consistent with recent years, will benefit all pension fund participants by supporting the EPF’s funding.
New Films, New Musicians
FMSMF received residuals for more than 230 “new titles” during FY2018. New titles refers to titles paying into FMSMF for the first time. Most of these newly reported titles were films and TV shows first released in 2015, 2016, or 2017, although some were older films and series that generated secondary market receipts and residuals for the first time.
The FY2018 new titles included feature films such as The Dark Tower, Fences, Hidden Figures, It, Sully, and War for the Planet of the Apes and television series such as Quantico (16/17), Transparent (16), and Rectify (Seasons 15/16). An entire season of a multi-episode television series is counted as one title. A complete list of the FY2018 “new” titles is posted on the FMSMF website at www.fmsmf.org/filmtitles/new-films.php.
A total of 935 musicians were credited with residuals for the first time: 831 musicians as a result of work on original scoring sessions and 104 first-timers as a result of new use of prior union covered sound recordings in a film or television program. During the past several years, between 800 and 1,000 new musicians were added each year as FMSMF participants because they were credited with residuals for the first time.
FMSMF continues to provide information to its participants via Music Notes, FMSMF’s e-newsletter, which is emailed to participants several times each year. The fund has worked to keep its Facebook page current, including information on FMSMF’s community outreach partnerships with Columbia University, ASCAP, SxSW, and the American Film Market. If you’re a fund participant, we hope you will subscribe to Music Notes, and whether or not you’re a fund participant, we hope you’ll keep current on FMSMF activities. Follow us and like us on Facebook!