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Sony Music to expand Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program to more artists

It's being expanded to include eligible unrecouped artists and songwriters globally who have been with Sony for over 20 years

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Sony Music Entertainment has announced that it's set to expand its policy of paying out royalties to legacy artists and producers who signed to the company pre-2000, and who hadn’t received advances since.

Originally launched last year, the Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program was a key part of a Sony initiative called "Artists Forward," which focused on improving communication and transparency with creators. Many older deals and record advances were made on terms that did not favour creators, and particularly made it hard for them to earn royalties decades after the initial deals were made. Sony's policy was a first among the music industry's major labels.

Now, Music Business Worldwide reports that the company is broadening the Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program to include more artists and songwriters.

Announced by Sony Music Group Chairman Rob Stringer on 26th May, the initiative is being expanded to include eligible unrecouped artists and songwriters globally who have been with Sony Music for over 20 years, and haven’t received an advance in over two decades.

“At Sony Music Group we take pride in our efforts to be the most creator friendly company in the modern music industry and we will keep searching for the most principled ways to represent our talent," said Stringer. “We became the first major company to pay through earnings to many long standing artists and songwriters regardless of any recoupment status."

“And now, we are expanding that effort to include even more qualifying artists who have been signed to us for more than 20 years, by offering eligibility on a rolling basis," he added.

Artists, songwriters and participants who are eligible will be notified of their eligibility later in the year.

Revisit DJ Mag's 2019 long-read on how producers are losing millions in royalty payments every year.