Fund Articles
Wednesday March 28th, 2018

AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund Names New CEO

The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, AFM, and SAG-AFTRA today announced the appointment of veteran music industry executive Stefanie Taub as Chief Executive Officer of the Fund. Taub comes to the Fund from SAG-AFTRA, having served as the head of its Music Department for more than twenty years, and as a trustee of the Fund for the past six years. In her new role, Taub will oversee the Fund’s collection and distribution of more than $45 million annually in royalties to non-featured musicians and vocalists.

Taub’s hiring concludes an extensive, nine-month long national search led by the consulting firm Korn Ferry. Taub will assume her new responsibilities on April 15.

“We could not hope for a more qualified, excellent CEO than Stefanie Taub,” said Ray Hair, co-chair of the Fund board of trustees and American Federation of Musicians International President. “She has the complete confidence and trust of not only the leadership, but also the membership of the AFM. Stefanie is a ‘music person’ with the skill set and dedication to musicians to lead the Fund to new heights.”

“Stefanie’s vision for the future of the Fund is inspiring, and she brings the management experience and industry expertise to not only hit the ground running but also to take on the immense challenges brought on by the volatility in the music world. We will miss her deeply at SAG-AFTRA but are so glad she will be staying in the family and continuing to use her considerable skills to the benefit of our membership and AFM’s as well,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, co-chair of the Fund board of trustees and COO and General Counsel of SAG-AFTRA.

“I am truly honored by the trust and confidence placed in me by the trustees and the members of SAG-AFTRA and the AFM. I’ve spent my professional life working to further the cause of performers in the music industry, and the opportunity to do that as the chief executive of an organization as important as the Fund was simply too good to pass up. The Fund faces a challenging industry environment but has a very bright future. I look forward to teaming up with the incredible staff of the Fund, the trustees, and the unions to make that future the very best it can be,” said Taub.

The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund is a trust fund and collective rights management organization established by the AFM and SAG-AFTRA to collect and distribute royalties to non-featured performers, including vocalists and musicians. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California and with approximately 70 staff, the Fund collects and distributes approximately $45 million annually on behalf of artists, from royalties paid on domestic non-interactive digital use of sound recordings, as well as for use in foreign territories subject to reciprocal agreements with collective management organizations in those territories.

December 15, 2017

Holiday Music Recordings: The Gift that Keeps on Giving (Royalties)

Performance royalties really are gifts that keep on giving, particularly when it comes to Holiday recordings.  The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund (the Fund) receives payments for musicians and vocalists pursuant to US legislation and agreements with 30 international rights collectives.  Year after year, the royalties we distribute always include Christmas and Holiday recordings, some recorded more than 60 years ago, some recorded very recently, but from almost every musical genre you can imagine.
Over the last two decades, the holiday, or “festive season,” has expanded to nine weeks, from mid-October through Christmas Day. Industry sales reports, which now include airplay and streaming, new releases and re-releases, put many Holiday CDs in the top 20 list during this "festive season" and as recently as 2010-11, according to Billboard Magazine, Christmas albums have also accounted for as much as 22 percent of all album sales in any given year.  When the holidays roll around again each year, it appears that dozens of old and familiar anthems creep back onto the airwaves, and the world once again spends eight to twelve weeks listening to music from the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s, as well as the current holiday offerings.
Some good news for participants in the Fund: Virtually all the recordings on Billboard Magazine’s list of the “Top Selling Christmas Albums of All Time,” and Rolling Stone’s “25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time” are also big royalty earners for session musicians and background vocalists.  Holiday music by Mariah Carey (“All I Want For Christmas is You”- 1994), Elvis Presley’s (“Blue Christmas”- 1957), Nat King Cole (“The Christmas Song”- 1963), Céline Dion (“O Holy Night”- 1998), Vince Guaraldi Trio (“Christmas Time is Here”- 1965), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (“Christmas Canon”- 1998) and Josh Groban (“Noel”- 2007) are equally popular with listeners today; regardless of the years when they were recorded.  These recordings never go out of fashion, and they continue to garner royalties for participants in the Fund.  Along similar lines, while only 3% of the Symphonic recordings in our database include the word “Christmas” in the album title, these same albums deliver 12% of all distributed royalties to symphony orchestra musicians.
Your favorite Christmas tune may have been featured in a movie, such as Louis Armstrong’s evocative rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World,” or Hall & Oates “Jingle Bell Rock” from Home for the Holidays, or Faith Hill’s “Where are you Christmas?” from the How Grinch Stole Christmas, or it may be simply saved in memories of childhood, like the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s version of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” But whether you prefer to listen to “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” performed by Michael Bublé, Johnny Mathis, Dion Warwick, or the Cincinnati Pops, there is probably an iconic recording of your favorite holiday music paying good royalties to US musicians, and if you were a music maker for one of these recordings, you will be sharing again in these gifts each year.
Bing Crosby’s performance of Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas" is the best-selling single of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but their heirs are not the only beneficiaries of this legacy.  This song continues to pay performance royalties to the families of musicians and vocalists who recorded with Crosby back in 1942.
So next time you get a call to record a holiday chestnut, do not fail to say yes! It may end up being MUCH more than a stocking stuffer for you and for your family.

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The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, a 501(c)(6) organization, was established by
The American Federation of Musicians and Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

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