Sony Music Publishing now does not account for unrecovered balances from heritage songwriters
Last month, in a move that drew widespread applause, Sony Music announced that it would disregard unclaimed balances for a series of heritage recording artists in its books.
The move was kicked off through an initiative called “Artists Forward” which the record company says focuses on “prioritizing transparency with creators in all aspects of their development.”
The flagship policy of this initiative, The Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program, has now been extended to songwriters, with Sony Music Publishing (SMP) today revealing that it will not account for future unclaimed balances for songwriters. -eligible composers.
The news was confirmed in a letter sent by Sony Music Publishing Chairman and CEO Jon Platt to the company’s songwriters today (July 20).
Obtained by MBW, the letter states that Sony Music Publishing “will no longer apply existing unrecovered balances to the income of eligible songwriters signed before 2000 who have not received advances since.”
Platt confirms that “this applies retroactively to January 1, 2021” and that “qualified songwriters will be notified separately in the coming weeks.”
What this means in practice is that if a songwriter last received an advance from SMP before 2000, and that advance is still not recovered today, that songwriter will now begin to receive money from streaming and other royalty sources, backdated to January 1 of this year. .
The magnitude of the move should not be underestimated: According to Sony Group Corp records, its global music publishing network – led by SMP – owned and administered just over 5.03 million copyrights. at the end of March 2021.
Platt added in his letter that “these efforts are a continuation of our songwriter-centric approach and support our continued investment in modernizing the administration.”
He added that SMP “has been working for some time to develop this plan,” which, he noted, “complements the Artists Forward program recently announced by Sony Music.”
“With historic policy changes across our business, we are taking important steps to create a more equitable and transparent music industry for songwriters and all creators. “
Jon Platt, Sony Music Publishing
Platt added, “With historic policy changes in our business, we are taking important steps to create a more equitable and transparent music industry for songwriters and all creators. “
Sony Music’s move last month and SMP’s follow-up move announced today come three years after Sony Music memorably dismissed unrecovered artist balances when distributing profits from its $ 768 million sale. dollars in Spotify shares.
You can read Jon Platt’s email in full below:
Today, I’m happy to share that we’re launching Songwriters Forward, an initiative designed to expand our support for careers every step of the way.
Under Songwriters Forward, we introduce the ‘Legacy unrecovered balance program‘to qualification Sony Music Editing songwriters. We have been working on this plan for some time, which complements Sony Music’s recently announced Artists Forward program.
We will no longer apply existing unrecovered balances to income of eligible songwriters signed before 2000 who have not received advances since, and this applies retroactively to January 1, 2021. Eligible songwriters will be informed separately in the coming weeks.
These efforts are a continuation of our songwriter-centric approach and support our continued investment in administration modernization, including new SCORE data and analytics upgrades, Cash Out payment options. and the processing of foreign royalties in real time.
With historic policy changes across our business, we are taking important steps to create a more equitable and transparent music industry for songwriters and all creators. On behalf of our teams around the world, we are privileged to represent you as we begin this next chapter with Songwriters Forward.
Chairman and CEO, Sony Music PublishingMusic trade around the world