Distributions


Distribution Types

Unclaimed Distributions

Main Annual Distribution

Payments to the SRSPF are made twice a year by the recording companies that are parties to the Sound Recording Labor Agreement (the "SRLA"). Payments are also made to the SRSPF by the recording companies when, as a result of compliance audits, they agree that prior year(s) obligations to the SRSPF were underpaid. The provisions for recording company payments to the SRSPF, along with the provisions for how those payments are to be distributed to musicians, are described in detail in the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund Agreement, which is incorporated into the SRLA. The SRSPF distributes these payments to eligible musicians on or about August 1st each year.

Under these two agreements, each record company is required to pay to the SRSPF a portion of its revenues on sales of all sound recordings produced by the company and recorded in the U.S. or Canada, or recorded elsewhere using AFM musicians. Payments are required on all revenues generated on sales of these recordings, whether the configuration is physical (e.g. CD, Tape or Vinyl) or non-physical, as in the case of digital downloads, for a period of ten years, beginning with the calendar year in which the recording is released. The payments average about $0.03 per physical unit sold and $0.004 per song downloaded.

Formula for Main Annual Distributions to Musicians
On or about August 1st of each year, the SRSPF distributes to eligible musicians the total of recording company payments received, whether the payments are based on the companies' current revenues or prior years' revenue as the result of compliance audit claims, interest income and any other payments (e.g. insurance proceeds) received through the end of April 30 (the SRSPF fiscal year), less its operating expenses. A musician is eligible for a distribution in each of the five years following any year in which he or she was paid wages under the SRLA from a recording company that is actively engaged in producing and selling sound recordings for profit. Each musician's distribution payment is calculated based on the formula in the SRSPF Agreement. The formula provides each musician with a portion of the total distribution that is equivalent to the ratio of the musician's "adjusted scale wages" to the "adjusted scale wages" of all eligible musicians. The term "adjusted scale wages" generally means the scale wages reported under the SRLA for the calendar year before the date of distribution (the "distribution year"), plus 80% of the scale wages reported in the second year before the distribution year, plus 60% of the scale wages reported in the third year before the distribution year, plus 40% of the scale wages reported in the fourth year before the distribution year, plus 20% of the scale wages reported in the fifth year before the distribution year.

As an example, if a musician's adjusted scale wages were $1,000 in each of the five years preceding the distribution year and the total of all musicians' adjusted scale wages was $10,000,000 in each of the five prior years, and the current year's distribution was $12,000,000, the musician's distribution payment would equal $1,200, as calculated below:

Year
Musician's
Adjusted Scale Wages
All Musicians'
Adjusted Scale Wages



1
$1,000
x
100%
=
$1,000
$10,000,000
x
100%
=
$10,000,000
2
$1,000
x
80%
=
$800
$10,000,000
x
80%
=
$8,000,000
3
$1,000
x
60%
=
$600
$10,000,000
x
60%
=
$6,000,000
4
$1,000
x
40%
=
$400
$10,000,000
x
40%
=
$4,000,000
5
$1,000
x
20%
=
$200
$10,000,000
x
20%
=
$2,000,000
Total
$3,000
$30,000,000

$3,000 x
$12,000,000 = $1,200
$30,000,000

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Sampling Distribution

A sample is a portion of a sound recording containing the performance of a musician(s) which is then reused in another sound recording. The SRSPF receives sampling payments from record companies for samples where the original song was created under the Sound Recording Labor Agreement ("SRLA") and distributes these payments to musicians annually on May 1st. Under the SRLA, the first time a sample is used in a new song the payment in most cases is $400. These payments are distributed to the musicians who played on the original recording on a prorated basis (e.g. if 10 musicians played on a song, each would receive $40).

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Traditional Music Video Distribution

The SRSPF receives contributions from record companies for traditional music videos under a provision of the Sound Recording Labor Agreement ("SRLA"). A musician becomes entitled to a distribution for a traditional music video when it contains an audio element (song) embodying his or her performance, which was produced under the SRLA. Contributions received are divided among the participating musicians on a pro-rata basis (e.g. if 10 musicians played on a song, and the revenue received for the song was $1,000, then each musician would receive $100, less the Fundís administrative expenses and its portion of payroll and unemployment taxes). The distributions are paid annually, on or about September 30th. Unlike the Fundís main annual distribution, traditional music video distributions are not recurring. Therefore, you will only receive a payment in a year in which the Fund has determined you are eligible for a distribution.

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Concert Video Distribution

The SRSPF receives contributions from record companies for concert videos under a provision of the Sound Recording Labor Agreement ("SRLA"). A musician becomes entitled for a distribution when a concert video contains an audio element (song) embodying his or her performance, which was produced under the SRLA. Contributions received are divided among the participating musicians on a pro-rata basis (e.g. if 10 musicians played on a song, and the revenue received for the song was $1,000, then each musician would receive $100, less the Fundís administrative expenses and its portion of payroll and unemployment taxes). The distributions are paid annually, on or about September 30th. Unlike the Fundís main annual distribution, concert video distributions are not recurring. Therefore, you will only receive a payment in a year in which the Fund has determined you are eligible for a distribution.

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Money Owed Musicians

Musicians who were entitled to distribution payments in any of the three prior distribution years may still have money owed them either because they did not cash a distribution check while it was valid (i.e. within 90 days of issuance), or have yet to be located by the Fund. To see if you are owed any money, click on the Money Owed Musicians link and review the listing of musicians for each distribution year for your name and more information about unclaimed distributions.

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