UMG launches scheme to pay royalties to legacy artists with unrecouped advances

Universal Music plans to launch an unrecouped advances program for legacy artists to receive royalties without having recouped their initial advance payments. Universal is the last of the major three labels to unveil this type of plan, with Sony and Warner having already laid out similar schemes. Plans for Universal’s scheme were revealed in the label’s environmental, social and governance report which came out on March 31. According to their scheme, eligible artists would receive royalties backdated to the start of this year, although there is no word yet of which artists qualify.

The current trend of launching royalties schemes for longstanding or legacy acts started back in 2020 when the Beggars Group launched a similar scheme with the aim to correct exploitive record deals, particularly those made to Black artists, whose old fashioned record deals had low royalty rates. Sony followed suit with a major policy change in June of last year dubbed the Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program, while Warner unveiled their scheme earlier this year according to Billboard