Universal IS erases unearned balances for cultural heritage artists, MBW sources say

Earlier today, MBW raised a big question: When both Sony and now Warner confirm that they are deleting unearned balances for thousands of heir artists and songwriters, does a similar announcement come from the world’s largest music rights company – Universal Music Group?

If you’ve been reading MBW for some time, you will hopefully know that we have very good, very senior sources in the global music industry.

And here’s what our very good, very high-ranking sources tell us today: yes, categorically, Universal is Introduce a policy that will overlook unearned balances for qualified directory songwriters and artists on his books.

This policy, we are told, will be publicly confirmed by UMG in detail over the next few months, probably as part of a broader update of its environmental-social management (ESG) practice.

The significance of this novelty cannot be underestimated in terms of the seismic transformation of the music industry in the modern age.

Ever since streaming began to pick up speed, many artists and songwriters have complained that they look low (or sometimes even none) regular royalties from major rights holders – as these artists / songwriters still pay off on advance checks that they accepted decades ago.

With Warner’s announcement today, and Universals coming announcement (both of which follow Sony Music Group’s historic announcement last year), this situation is pretty much, finally, being transferred to history.

In its announcement today, Warner Music Group stated that under its new policy, artists and songwriters who signed WMG before 2000 (and have not received an additional advance since 2000) will disregard their unearned balance for royalty payments. from 1 July this year.

Warner added that its unearned advance program will also “benefit other artist royalty participants such as manufacturers, engineers, mixers and remixers”.

Last summer, Sony Music Group announced that it would no longer apply existing unearned balances to earnings for eligible songwriters and artists, which were signed before the year 2000 and had not received advances since.

Warner Music Group is currently the only major record label to have sold its entire Spotify stake, which it cashed in for $ 504 million in 2018.

In the same year, Sony sold 50% of its Spotify capital for $ 768 million.

Both Warner and Sony shared this revenue with artists on their list, though Sony disregarded unearned balances as part of this process.

Universal Music Group is believed to continue to own 3-4% of Spotify’s equity, a stake currently worth more than $ 1 billion.

Universal has done this before – when it does do sell its Spotify share – it will share the proceeds with its artists and disregard unearned balances while doing so.Music business worldwide

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