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Sony Music To Stop Collecting Unrecouped Balances For Legacy Artists

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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Sony Music Entertainment revealed plans for the launch of a new initiative aimed at fostering artists that will drastically revise the label’s policies for unrecouped balances.

Unrecouped balances typically refer to costs fronted by the label for the production and marketing of a label, as well as other expenses such as advances to artists and ‘breakage’ of physical product. When an album doesn’t’ earn enough money to fully pay these expenses, labels historically collect on these unrecouped expenses from the artist’s royalty stream.

However, with the rise of music streaming as the primary means of music consumption, these expenses, particularly those such as distribution costs and breakage of physical product, have had less of an impact on major label’s bottom line

Now, Sony has pledged to stop collecting on these unrecouped balances for artists who signed with Sony prior to 2000 and who have not received an advance from the label since then.

“Through this program, we are not modifying existing contracts, but choosing to pay through on existing unrecouped balances to increase the ability of those who qualify to receive more money from uses of their music,” Sony said in a letter to artists obtained by Variety.

The initiative also provides eligible artists will also be able to access advances on projected earnings from existing catalog through an instant account advances system Sony implemented on their Sony Music Artist Portal.

The advances, which have been rolled out in the U.S. and U.K. at launch, will be expanded to additional markets later this year, Sony said.

“We’re driven by our mission to provide artists with the best levels of service. The program we are announcing today is part of that continuing work and further builds on our initiatives and investments in modernized contracts, flexible deal options, advanced data and analytics insights for creators and more,” the statement from Sony Music said.

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