Confirmed: Universal IS does not account for unclaimed balances for heritage artists

In February, MBW told you that Universal Music Group planned to introduce a policy that would see unrecovered balances ignored for eligible songwriters and catalog artists in its books.

Senior music industry sources told us at the time that this policy would be publicly confirmed by UMG in the coming months.

Today (March 31), that’s exactly what UMG did.

This policy was announced in UMG’s Environment and Social Governance (ESG) report, included in its 2021 Annual Report, which was published today.

In the report, which also highlights initiatives on artist wellbeing, climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion, among other topics, UMG announces that it will launch what it calls a “global goodwill program for selected featured artists and songwriters”.

The program will see UMG ignore unrecovered balances on advances for eligible artists.

In the report, UMG states, “Continuing to build a tradition of legacy artist support programs, in 2022 UMG is proud to launch a global goodwill program for select star legacy artists and songwriters with unpaid balances. recovered.

“By not applying their uncollected advances to royalty statements for any period beginning January 1, 2022, eligible creators and their immediate heirs who have not received any payments since January 1, 2000 will begin to receive royalties, subject to of certain conditions.”

UMG says it will contact eligible artists and songwriters in the coming months.

Today’s news means that UMG becomes the third major music company to launch an unrecovered balance program for legacy acts.

Last summer, Sony Music Group announced that it would no longer apply existing unrecovered balances to earnings from eligible songwriters and artists who signed before 2000 and had not received advances since. .

In February, Warner Music Group, the world’s third-largest music rights company, also confirmed that it was introducing a “former unrecovered advance program”, which will come into effect on July 1.The music industry around the world