Musicians Vote to Ratify New Contract With Film Studios, Including Streaming Residuals

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The new contract also includes AI protections and a bonus for musicians working on "the most successful streaming shows."

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Members of the American Federation of Musicians voted to ratify the union’s agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The agreement, which covers basic theatrical motion picture and basic television motion picture contracts, gives musicians streaming residuals for the first time, as well as protections against artificial intelligence, according to AFM. In addition to streaming residuals, musicians working on “the most successful streaming shows” will receive a performance bonus and will receive health care contributions on work made for streaming. The AI protections include compensation for musicians when their work is used with AI tools. 

The Writers Guild of America negotiated for similar terms, including AI protections and a success-based residual that pays writers of streaming series and movies a bonus if 20 percent or more of a streaming service’s U.S. subscribers watch it within three months of release. 

The AFM agreement was unanimously recommended by the bargaining committee. 

“This agreement is a monumental victory for musicians who have long been under-compensated for their work in the digital age,” said AFM International president and chief negotiator Tino Gagliardi. “It wouldn’t have been possible without our members’ unwavering strength and unity, along with the tireless organizing efforts that led up to this historic contract. Their dedication was instrumental in achieving a favorable agreement after just 12 days of negotiations.”

A tentative contract was reached after a first round of negotiations from Jan. 22 through Jan. 31 and then a second round that began Feb. 21 and lasted until the early hours of Feb. 23. 

AFM held a rally outside of the Sherman Oaks offices of the AMPTP on the first day of negotiations, with members from several other entertainment unions attending to show their support.

This story was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

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