We are the musicians who record for motion pictures and television shows heard around the world.

Members of the American Federation of Musicians across the country are working together to achieve a fair contract from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

What We Are Fighting For

For more than a decade, musicians working on made-for-streaming movies and TV shows have been exploited by the multi-billion dollar media conglomerates that make up the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Association. Recording musicians performing on soundtracks are making 75% less on content premiering on streaming platforms. These musicians, like singers and actors, create unique performances that are captured in real time — yet, they are not being compensated accordingly for streaming media. This is because the entertainment industry has fundamentally shifted. Content now premieres primarily on streaming platforms rather than in movie theaters and on network television.

This shift has resulted in considerably less residual income for musicians, threatening our livelihoods. In essence, the talent bringing scores to life is being commoditized without a fair share of the considerable profits made by companies such as Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. This practice is neither fair nor sustainable.

Musicians, essential to the streaming economy, demand a fair contract which includes:
increased industry wages, improved working conditions, residual payments for made-for-streaming content, AI protections.

Did You Know?

The origins of residuals can be traced back to the 1930s when strikes and agreements by the American Federation of Musicians paved the way for the introduction of residuals for live radio performers who were faced with reduced wages due to recorded replays. Residuals were seen as a solution to the displacement caused by technology. They provided partial unemployment compensation and became an essential aspect of the Hollywood guilds’ payment structure.

Residuals are typically calculated in one of two ways: a fixed fee per “run” for reuse within the same medium or a percentage of a license fee for reuse in a different medium. The payments per run decrease over time as the value of older shows declines.

Running the music budget through a composer’s package and telling them to hire the musicians is like telling a director that when they hire A-list actors, they have to pay them out of their own pockets. It’s just a ruse by studios to underfund the music budget, putting all of us in harm’s way.

Session singers earn fixed residuals when they work on the very same streaming projects alongside AFM musicians. Playing and singing the same music, for the same composers, for the same projects, singers are paid their fair share but not musicians.

Musicians were out in solidarity on the picket lines with writers, actors, session singers, and others since May 2, and continued to support our colleagues across the industry through the end of the strikes.

The AFM has been around for over 125 years “to elevate, protect, and advance the interests of all musicians who receive pay for their musical service.”

The fight for residuals isn’t new. Since the 1950s, each new entertainment medium has sparked a fight over residuals, from videocassettes to streaming. We have continuously tried to adapt old formulas to new distribution technologies to establish a sense of fairness.

If a project is made by a signatory of our contract and if any principal photography takes place in the U.S. or Canada, they are obligated to record under an AFM contract.

Companies in the AMPTP have been attempting to get away with yellow dog contracts — where the producers tell the filmmakers and composers that they cannot work with the musicians union (even when they are signatories of our contract!).

Join the Mailing List

Stay informed about our fight to win streaming residuals and learn how you can participate so we can win a strong film/TV contract.
To join our email list, please send a message to: info@fairshareformusicians.org​
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