News Room


08/01/2011, V. Robert DiPaola - Fund Administrator,  

(Below is this years annual distribution letter, which contains details related to the distribution and other information regarding the Fund.)

August 1, 2011

Dear Participating Musician:

Enclosed is a check that represents your portion of the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund’s (“Fund”) distribution for this year, which is based on the fiscal year ended April 30, 2011. You must cash or deposit this check by October 29, 2011, since it will not be valid after that date under the rules of the Fund’s bank. In addition, enclosed for your reference is a statement of your reported scale wages, if any, for calendar year 2010.

The Fund’s total distribution this year is $6,460,000*, or about 18% less than last year. The decline is attributable almost entirely to lower contributions received from recording companies on sales of CDs. As you are probably aware, sales of CDs have steadily declined for many years due to the transition from physical product to digital downloads and the proliferation of online piracy of sound recordings. Contributions received on sales of digital downloads were modestly higher, up 7% to $3.5 million, though not enough to replace the lower contributions from sales of CDs.

Although long-term trends remain unclear, it is encouraging to note that 2011 sales of digital downloads have been positive and are up over 10% for tracks and 18% for albums, as reported in Billboard magazine in July 2011. Another encouraging development, aimed at reducing online piracy in the future, comes in the form of an agreement reached in July 2011 among the music, movie, and television industries and major U.S. internet service providers (“ISP”). Under the agreement, the ISPs will issue online alerts to their customers, whose accounts have been used for illegally sharing or downloading content, including music. Although the alerts are educational, for repeat violators there may be other consequences including having their internet access slowed down. Agreements like this should be beneficial for everyone in the recording industry.

Other Fund news:

  • The Fund re-launched its website,, earlier this year! Besides being more user-friendly and visually appealing, the website has plenty of useful information about the Fund. Using the website enables you to view your prior years’ tax and scale-wage statements and see if you or your fellow musicians have unclaimed distributions. You can also make changes to your address and other personal information, designate a beneficiary and sign up for direct deposit (available for U.S. banks only). Using the website also helps reduce the Fund’s administrative expenses. So please, take a few moments to explore the new site.
  • We are moving! The Fund has negotiated a new agreement with our landlord to vacate our current lease almost two years early and relocate into another smaller office in the building (Suite 360), which better suits our current needs. Under the new lease agreement, which is for ten years, we will save over $400,000 in rent that we would have otherwise had to pay between now and the end the original lease. Thereafter, our rent expense will be reduced about $170,000 per year, on average, over the remainder of the new lease. In addition, as a part of the new lease agreement, the landlord will absorb all of the costs associated with the construction and renovations for the new space.
  • As in past years, through our concerted efforts, we have been able to sustain a very high success rate in locating and paying musicians who are entitled to distributions. This year, over 96% of the total distribution will be paid out to musicians. For a listing of the musicians who still have distributions due them, go to the “Money Owed Musicians” link on the Fund’s website.

Wishing you a prosperous year,

V. Robert DiPaola

V. Robert DiPaola
Fund Administrator

* Below is a summary comparison of financial information related to the annual distributions for the fiscal years ended April 30, 2011 and 2010:

Compliance audit collections
Investment income and interest
Other income
Unclaimed distributions
Operating expenditures
Employer share of payroll taxes
Compliance audit expenses
Reserves and capital expenditures
Total distribution
$ 6,460,000
$ 8,017,000

Total participants