How is streaming changing residual payments to film musicians?

Posted on: December 8, 2021

“What does the future hold for the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund? Like so many aspects of a rapidly changing media business, that’s hard to predict,” writes Jon Burlingame in Saturday’s (12/4) Variety.com. “Shows that air exclusively on Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus or other services—and don’t pass on to a secondary market like DVD or Blu-Ray—will not generate later payments for union musicians who played on those scores…. A growing number of producers are not hiring union musicians in order to avoid any kind of future payments. The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund is not part of the collective bargaining process. Those contracts are negotiated between the American Federation of Musicians and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The FMSMF collects and distributes residuals based on those terms, and you must be covered by the union in order to benefit…. [Says] Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli, president of the Los Angeles Recording Musicians Association: ‘I’ve been able to make a career because of the Secondary Markets Fund…. I want to make sure that the next generation [of musicians] has the ability to take their talents and make a solid career here in L.A., and not live hand-to-mouth.’ ”