Sony Music’s Rob Stringer set the agenda last summer when the company wiped off debts for certain legacy acts who had yet to benefit from the streaming era.
Now the major has expanded the Artists and Songwriters Forward initiatives to benefit thousands more music creators.
The plans were unveiled as part of Sony Music Group’s performance and strategy presentation for investors at the parent Sony company’s 2022 Business Segment Briefing in Tokyo.
Sony Music Group is expanding the eligibility period of its Legacy Unrecouped Balance Programme, a move that opens up more of a financial opportunity in terms of streaming revenue for greater numbers of artists and songwriters.
Under a new update, SMG is extending payouts on eligible earnings to a rolling group of qualifying unrecouped artists, songwriters and participants globally. It covers those who have been with Sony Music for over 20 years and haven’t received an advance in over two decades.
Moving forward, additional groups of qualifying creators and participants will be eligible to participate in the programme as they hit similar milestones of over 20 years between their signing to Sony Music and their last advance.
“We became the first major company to pay through earnings to many longstanding artists and songwriters regardless of any recoupment status,” said Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer. “And now, we are expanding that effort to include even more qualifying artists who have been signed to us for more than 20 years, by offering eligibility on a rolling basis.”
The enhanced programme kicks off this autumn beginning with qualifying Sony Music creators and participants who signed prior to the year 2001, and have not received an advance from 2001 forward.
Pre-2001 participants who qualify will be eligible to receive pay through on earnings generated on or after January 1, 2022. Qualifying artists, songwriters and participants will be notified of their eligibility later this year.
We became the first major company to pay through earnings to many longstanding artists and songwriters regardless of any recoupment status
To date, Sony Music Group has paid through millions of dollars to thousands of qualifying pre-2000 artists and songwriters globally.
During the presentation, Stringer also gave an update on revenue from new categories and the rise of Web3.
“New business categories, like social, gaming and fitness, account for nearly $500 million in revenue,” said Stringer. “We are actively participating in the Web3 market which clearly has the potential to build multiple financial areas of our core offerings. We have invested in partnerships in the burgeoning NFT space.”
Stringer highlighted the major's success with superstar artists Adele and Harry Styles.
“In recorded music, we had the world’s top selling album of 2021 with 30 by the incomparable Adele who also broke the record for the biggest first day streaming number ever,” he said.
“As we enter our new fiscal year, Sony Music Recording artist Harry Styles will have the biggest selling global No.1 chart entry of the year so far with his third album Harry’s House.”
Sony Music’s average weekly share of Spotify’s worldwide Top 100 tracks rose to 36.1%, up half of a percentage point from a year ago.
“[Sony Music Publishing] songwriters had an average of 33% of the weekly share of Spotify’s global top 100, up from 27% a year ago,” he added.
Rob Stringer also spoke about the major’s investment in artists.
“Over the last five years, we have increased our global roster by over 30% in our frontline labels,” he said. “And to work this roster, we have added to the numbers of our creative staff by more than 85%.”