Music

Sony Music to Pay Royalties to Unrecouped Legacy Artists and Producers in Major Policy Change

Sony Music to Pay Royalties to Unrecouped Legacy Artists and Producers in Major Policy Change

Artists signed to Sony before 2000 who have yet to recoup their advances will start receiving royalties “to increase the ability of those who qualify to receive more money from uses of their music”
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment, October 2019 (Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Sony Music Entertainment has announced that it will begin paying out royalties to legacy artists and producers who signed to the company prior to 2000 and who’ve yet to recoup their record advances, Music Business Worldwide reports. Sony reportedly made the announcement in a letter that the company sent to thousands of artists today; the new policy, dubbed the “Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program,” falls under a new Sony initiative called “Artists Forward,” aimed to improve communication and transparency with creators.

The nature of record deals and record advances—especially deals inked in the 20th century—has made it not uncommon for artists to be unable earn royalties decades after they first signed their deals. MBW reports that the new Sony policy—a first among the major labels—does not wipe away the unrecouped debt, but will “pay through on existing unrecouped balances to increase the ability of those who qualify to receive more money from uses of their music.”

The policy will retroactively impact royalty earnings beginning January 1, 2021. According to Sony, artists, producers, and other qualified participants will be notified of their eligibility in the Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program in coming weeks.

As streaming has reshaped how music fans consume music and how royalties are generated, many in the music industry have called for larger labels to institute policies similar to the “Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program.”

Beggars Group—the independent label group that includes 4AD, Matador, XL, and others—wipes off all unrecouped debt on artist advances 15 years after an artist’s last contractual album. Beggars founder Martin Mills called on major labels to institute such a policy during a speech back in 2016.

Read “Amid a Racial Justice Reckoning, Pioneers of Rap, Reggae, and R&B Recount Their Struggles to Get Paid” on the Pitch.

Articles You May Like

Sexy Beasts Trailer: Netflix Dating Show Is Masked Singer Meets Love Is Blind
5 of the Best LGBTQ+ Horror Books for Pride
Ted Lasso Season 2 Trailer: ‘Led Tasso’ Is Unleashed as a Demoted AFC Richmond Feels the Pressure — WATCH
Underground Railroad’s Chase Dillon Says His Complicated Homer Character ‘Gets the Job Done’
Lorde Announces Tour, Reveals Release Date and Tracklist for New Album Solar Power