As the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the American Federation of artists (AFM) resumed its discussions today.

The AFM released a number of data detailing the changes that the music industry has brought about for artists since the 1930s.

According to AFM, the organization’s 1930s strikes and agreements opened the door for the introduction of residuals for live radio performers, who were forced to accept lower pay as recorded replays proliferated. Writers, performers, and musicians currently seek residuals precisely because they were formerly seen to be a solution to this displacement brought about by technology.

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One of two methods is used to compute residuals: either a percentage of the licensing cost for reuse in a new medium, or a fixed amount per “run” for material reuse. As the value of older shows drops over time, payments per run also fall. The AFM emphasizes that since the 1950s, there has been a constant struggle for residuals because every new entertainment medium has created a rivalry for them. Residual conflicts have been caused via streaming, DVDs, and video cassette cassettes.

Musicians have not received a residual payment from studios for original TV shows, films, or other content created especially for streaming platforms. That’s one of the main requests of the AFM, along with regulation and AI protection. On January 22, the AFM took the negotiation table. The AFM released some statistics that show why the fight is still going on.

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Over the past ten years, salaries for theatrical films have sharply decreased. AFM members’ job in 2013 consisted of 65% movie calls. That percentage had fallen to just 20% by 2022. Comparably, traditional TV work has declined, falling from 46% in 2014 to 21% in 2022. The workload for artists has increased dramatically as a result of recorded music for streaming originals, rising from 2% in 2016 to 59% in 2022.

Musicians are rapidly becoming less successful than they were in the past due to a decline in residuals from older TV shows and movies and the lack of streaming residuals to replace them. The average L.A. studio musician performed on 91 sessions for streaming originals in 2022, according to Local 47, but their pay is “below the poverty line.” These musicians could not support their professions without residuals to supplement recording session payments.