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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Vice President from Canada

awillaert

Alan Willaert – AFM Vice President from Canada

    Maximize Your Income from Recordings

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    I am pleased to report that the General Agreement for Commercial Announcements (Canada) has been ratified. While there have been some delays in editing, I expect printing and distribution to take place shortly. I would like to thank Local 149 (Toronto, ON) Executive Director Michael Murray, rank-and-file members Chris Tait, Jane Heath, and Nicola Treadgold of Local 149, as well as Director of Administration Susan Whitfield and Electronic Media Supervisor Dan Calabrese from the Canadian Office for their diligence, patience, and foresight. Without these folks, such an excellent result would not have been possible.

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    Is the Album Doomed?

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    In a recent article by Tim Ingham for Rolling Stone, some startling statistics pointed to further erosion of the music model of the past, as consumption patterns continue to swing further toward single tracks. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), album sales in the US for the first half of 2018 (including downloads, CDs, and vinyl) were down 25.8%, compared to a year earlier. If that trend holds for the full year, album sales will be half of what they were in 2015, or in terms of dollars, down by half a billion dollars compared to last year.

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    The Value of AFM Membership Is Realized Through Proper Contracts

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    Meeting with members is always an interesting exercise, and a way to keep in touch with the realities of the music scene, which can be both good and, well, not so much.

    One of the most disappointing aspects is conversations with prominent musicians who have been members for a significant number of years, yet are in a personal quandary about whether to continue membership because they haven’t “seen any value.”

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    Canadian Federation of Musicians Bargaining Roundup

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    The summer and fall of this year have shaped up to be negotiation-heavy. While exhausting, we see this as an opportunity to secure better wages and benefits for our members who work under those agreements.

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    Union Contracts Strengthen Our Union in the Digital World

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    A recent online Rolling Stone article (“Musicians Get Only 12% of the Money the Music Industry Makes,” by Amy X. Wang) suggests that total music spending in the US is at an all-time high, an estimated $43 billion annually. Of that, Wang claims, musicians receive approximately 12%—which is apparently up from 7% in 2000. This huge disparity is blamed on “value leakage,” or more specifically, money siphoned off by various entities who are involved between the recording process and the delivery of content to listeners.

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