Bargaining began Wednesday for a new contract between the American Federation of Musicians and management’s Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The chief issue is residuals from films made for steaming services, which musicians don’t get.
“As new media consumption has grown, studios have agreed to pay streaming residuals for actors, writers, directors and others when films are made for streaming, but musicians have been uniquely excluded,” the union said. “Musicians currently receive residual payments for secondary-market uses of theatrical and TV films, but not for films made for the Internet.”
“As streaming consumption grows, the absence of streaming residuals will prevent musicians from being able to afford a home and feed their families, and threatens to erode the major contributions our members make to our local communities,” said Ray Hair, AFM International President. “AFM members must take on the changes in technology by ensuring that we maintain good jobs and a rightful place in the future of the industry. We are seeking a productive dialogue with AMPTP as we work to reach a fair resolution of these negotiations.”
Speaking at a press conference today in support of the musicians, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said that “Working people in the entertainment industry must face the changes in our business together. For generations, we have fought for quality jobs and won. Now, as the industry moves toward new media, we believe it is time to stand together again. Our members recognize the tremendous value that musicians bring to our films and television shows, and we support their demand for a fair contract for streaming.”