In national voting completed today, affected members of SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly to approve the 2018 – 2020 Sound Recordings Code by a vote of 99.08 percent to 0.92 percent.

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said, “I want to thank the negotiating committee particularly its chair, National Vice President Recording Artists/Singers Dan Navarro, for their hard work and congratulate the membership for recognizing the value of this contract. The negotiating committee’s vision, coupled with the support of our membership, is what has allowed us to secure meaningful gains, not only for today’s members, but for future SAG-AFTRA artists as well.”  

Added SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White, “I would like to thank our lead negotiator, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and co-lead negotiator Stefanie Taub for negotiating this contract with the labels. I also want to thank members for voting to approve the Sound Recordings Code. This agreement further ensures increased minimums and higher contributions to the health and retirement plans, which will greatly benefit our recording artist members.”

Highlights of the Sound Recording Code include:

  • Increase minimum wages by 3 percent Jan.1, 2019 and 2020, and 2.5 percent Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Increase health and retirement contributions to 13 percent, effective July 1, 2019.
  • Increase the portion of worldwide streaming payments subject to health and retirement contributions from 15 percent to 50 percent.
  • Increase the foreign traditional use conversion fee for most licenses from 3 percent to 4 percent, with substantially increased minimum and maximum payments.
  • Substantially increase the maximum health and retirement contribution for groups of six or more and index it to future increases in eligibility requirements.
  • Streamline the licensing and performer payment processes for foreign licenses, especially for tracks licensed into commercials. 

The new agreement is retroactive effective Jan. 1, 2018, and expires Dec. 31, 2020. The major record labels covered by the agreement include Warner Bros. Records, Atlantic Recording Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group Recordings, Capitol Records and Hollywood Records (Disney).

Formal negotiations between the SAG-AFTRA Negotiating Committee and the record labels began earlier this year, in Los Angeles and concluded on Oct. 18, 2018. The SAG-AFTRA National Board unanimously approved the tentative agreement at its Oct. 20 meeting.

SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at