American Federation of Musicians Ratifies New Deal With Studios

The American Federation of Musicians officially has a new deal with the studios.

The union’s members have ratified the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and Basic Television Motion Picture Agreements contract, which was unanimously recommended by the bargaining committee in February, the AFM announced Tuesday.

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“This agreement is a monumental victory for musicians who have long been under-compensated for their work in the digital age,” AFM International President and Chief Negotiator Tino Gagliardi said in a statement. “It wouldn’t have been possible without our members’ unwavering strength and unity, along with the tireless organizing efforts that led up to this historic contract. Their dedication was instrumental in achieving a favorable agreement after just 12 days of negotiations.”

The AFM also revealed some of the details of the new agreement, which it called “groundbreaking” for its members. Many of those advancements in the contract focus on streaming compensation and protection against artificial intelligence — an increasingly familiar tune in Hollywood labor negotiations.

Here’s what the AFM said about those additions to the contract:

  • Streaming Residuals: Musicians will now receive residuals for content made for streaming.

  • Enhanced Healthcare: There will now be new healthcare contributions on content made for streaming.

  • Performance Bonus: Musicians will receive a performance bonus for working on successful streaming shows.

  • AI Protections: The contract incorporates new protections to safeguard against generative artificial intelligence, providing compensation for musicians when their performances are used in conjunction with AI tools.

The AFM did not provide any further detail at this time about how the streaming residuals or performance bonus will operate, nor the specific language around the AI protections. It did say, however, that the contract “sets a new standard for musicians working in film and television, ensuring fair compensation, improved working conditions, and a secure future in the face of evolving technologies.”

The ratification of the AFM’s deal is another glimmer of hope this year, as Hollywood labor appears to be turning the page from last year’s dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

As IATSE, Teamsters and the Hollywood Basic Crafts cycle through their own negotiations with the AMPTP, things also appear to be going smoothly. Those talks are expected to extend over the next several months as the current contracts expire July 31.

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