Sony Music Entertainment to waive unrecovered debt for more artists


Last summer, Sony Music Entertainment (SME) waived unrecovered debts from former songwriters and artists. Now, the Big Three label has revealed plans to eliminate unrecovered balances for other artists, but on an ongoing basis.

The expansion of Sony Music’s early waiver program was revealed during a recent presentation by SME CEO Rob Stringer. On page 19 of the corresponding visual resource – the text titled “Enhancing Sony’s position as the Market Leader in Artist & Songwriter-friendly initiatives” located at the top of the slide – a section titled “Compensation” describes the expanded non-balance exemption. recovered.

“First Major for artists and songwriters to announce and implement payment on unrecovered inherited earnings,” the compensation portion of the document reads. “Potential to impact thousands of our artists and songwriters. Plans to expand the program in the coming year.

And according to Billboardthis expansion will specifically see Unrecovered Debt Relief implemented on an ongoing basis, reaching veterans who signed up with SME at least 20 years ago (and haven’t accepted an advance since, of course).

The initially leaked programs applied to professionals who signed deals with the major label before 2000, for example, and the continued expansion looks set to bring debt relief to pre-2001 signers this year. Then 2023 will likely see the exemption reach artists who signed with SME before 2002.

In February 2022, Warner Music Group waived unrecovered debts from legacy artists and songwriters, and Universal Music Group followed suit in late March. The decisions came amid continued criticism (and legal battles) over the Big Three’s contracts and practices, not to mention unprecedented revenue generated by continued streaming improvements.

And on that last front, much of the rest of Stringer’s report highlights Sony Music’s efforts to expand and diversify its operations, touting the purchase of Som Livre, AWAL and Alamo Records. (The Alamo takeover brought a multi-million dollar windfall to Universal Music, the major label said in an annual report.)

Since its 2017 fiscal year, Sony Music has grown its roster of artists by 30.5%, according to the presentation, with growth of 32.4% for new signings, growth of 111.3% for “raw talent”. and an 85.2% growth for “creative staff”.

In conclusion, the 20-page resource explores some of the perceived benefits and positive characteristics of Sony Music Entertainment, a “culture of respect, diversity, fairness, [and] inclusion” and a “progressive and attractive workplace” among them. Needless to say, this rosy analysis quietly glosses over the baffling allegations and high-level management shakeups that came out of Sony Music Australia (as well as Universal Music Australia) last year.


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