SAG-AFTRA Members Nearly Unanimously Ratify New Sound Recordings Code

SAG-AFTRA members have nearly unanimously approved the union’s new Sound Recordings Code.

The deal, which runs through 2026, received 97.69% yes votes. The major record labels covered by the agreement include Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Disney Music Group, as well as most of their subsidiary labels.

More from Deadline

Among the provisions secured in the new contract are protections against artificial intelligence, which SAG-AFTRA said will go into effect immediately. Those include codifying that the terms “artist,” “singer” and “royalty artist” under this agreement only include humans. The contract also demands “clear and conspicuous” consent along with compensation for use of a digital replica.

Each company also agreed to semi-annual meetings with SAG-AFTRA to discuss the “label’s current and planned activities with respect to generative artificial intelligence.”

SAG-AFTRA also achieved increased minimums that equate to a compounded total wage increase of 26.3% over the term.

The union is also touting the health and retirement improvements in the contract, including a general contribution rate increase as well as an increase in the percentage of streaming revenue to be covered by contributions, which will reach 100% on Dec. 31, 2026.

More details are available in the union’s deal summary.

“Singers and recording artists have a profound impact on our culture, and I’m thrilled that they’ve achieved a contract that not only recognizes their value with significant wage increases, but also provides them essential protections around artificial intelligence,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said in a statement. “We celebrate our human performers! I applaud the negotiating committee and staff, the record labels, and SAG-AFTRA members for getting this contract across the finish line!”

SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said, “This contract secures groundbreaking A.I. guardrails while also achieving crucial and substantial wage increases, and other key wins for singers and recording artists. Protecting human artistry will always be SAG-AFTRA’s priority, and I’m heartened that our members have a contract that provides immediate gains and recognizes the importance of human contributions to the industry. I also want to acknowledge Negotiating Committee Chair Dan Navarro and the entire committee and staff for their outstanding and dedicated work in achieving this agreement.”

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.