Sony Music has issued an update on its Artists Forward initiative - a package of measures designed to support talent across multiple areas.
The major, headed by Rob Stringer, has provided participants with a progress report on the programme, which launched 18 months and made headlines with its artist-friendly measure to open up streaming royalties for eligible legacy acts. The Legacy Unrecouped Balance Programme was also extended to the publishing business.
The initiative to remove unrecouped balances for artists, including those in the UK, was expanded this year to rolling annual groups of participants who have been signed for more than 20 years and without receiving an advance in that period.
Eligibility notifications have recently begun going out to the first group of qualifying artists and participants under the new criteria. In its recap to the artist community this week, Sony said this decision would positively impact “hundreds of additional creators and participants around the world in the near term”.
Sony Music also noted the impact of its wellbeing measures as part Artists Forward. Under the heading ‘It’s okay not to be okay’, the major said that more artists are making use of the free, confidential counselling service, which is available in 70 languages.
As part of the Artist Assistance Programme, Sony provides talent with access to professional counselling services for addressing stress, anxiety, depression, grief, family and relationship matters and more.
Since launching last year, it has provided over 100 artists around the world with information and support related to the programme, which is offered through a partnership with Corporate Counseling Associates (CCA). To date, dozens of artists from across more than 12 different countries have used these services to either establish recurring sessions with a licensed therapist, or receive urgent support in dealing with acute issues.
Finally, Sony Music has provided an update on the growing adoption of its tools for artists via the Artist Portal and Real Time Insights platforms, which offer music creators and their teams payment capabilities, updates on consumption of their content and audience engagement data.
As part of this, artists and participants globally have now withdrawn nearly $50 million combined using the Cash Out and Real Time Advances features available through the Artist Portal. The features allow users to cash out payable monthly account balances, and initiate advances on qualifying projected earnings.
The Sony Music Artist Portal is a website and app for tracking and analysing earnings, plus initiating withdrawals and advances of available funds as soon as they become available.
Real Time Insights, a separate app from Sony Music, helps artists and their teams make decisions informed by advanced analytics that are provided instantly from the billions of global transactions processed every day.
In its recap, the major concluded: “With all of our artist tools we are focused on delivering fast, convenient, easy-to-use solutions in support of your career in a dynamic marketplace.”