The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), the trade group that represents more than 600 indie labels, is exploring federal relief for smaller labels that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, while music finance firm Sound Royalties has announced a $20 million fund to assist musicians, producers and songwriters.
In an email to its members, A2IM president and CEO Richard James Burgess said the group is “in discussion with the [New York] Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment regarding the disruption the Coronavirus pandemic is causing to your businesses.
“While this discussion is with the Mayor’s office, the goal is to investigate federal assistance so please send ideas even if you are based in another city or state.”
Although A2IM includes many large indies, such as like Concord, Big Machine, Beggars Group and Ingrooves among its members, a many smaller companies fill its roster.
“Right now we are doing the research to find out where our labels are hurting and then we would make proposals as to how they might be helped,” Burgess tells Variety. “Obviously, smaller artists that depend on touring and side musicians, crew etc. are really in a bad place, and many of them live gig to gig.”
As A2IM lays that groundwork, Music Business Worldwide reports that Sound Royalties has established a $20 million fund to provide advances to music creators without requiring that copyrights be surrendered as collateral, stating the fund “never takes possession of copyrights under any circumstance.”
The company says songwriters, performing artists, producers and others with royalty income can apply for zero-interest cash advances on a one-year repayment schedule with “no fees or costs of any kind.” Creators can extend the loan past one year, but will likely incur a fee; applicants are qualified based on verifiable royalty income.
“From national tours to local clubs, the live music industry has been blindsided by Coronavirus, and the impact on creatives who depend on this income and the music industry as a whole will be significant,” says founder/CEO Alex Heiche. “We stand with the creative community and hope to ease some of the burden caused by this unprecedented interruption in business.”
Creators can apply via the SoundRoyalties site. The company has worked with hundreds of musicians, including Grammy nominees and winners Rich Robinson, Pitbull, Makeba Riddick, Wyclef Jean, DJ Khaled, Malik Yusef, Lil Wayne and others.
The company specializes in offering advances on artist, producer and songwriter royalties paid through music labels, distributors, publishers and PROs such as BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, SoundExchange and others.