new media

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Are Producers required to have insurance under the basic New Media Agreement?

Yes. Per the Agreement, the Producer shall obtain and keep in force during the term of employment of any performer a policy of comprehensive public liability insurance insuring the performer(s) against any liability arising out of the performance by the performer in the course and scope of their employment.

As always, Workers Compensation Insurance is a state requirement for employers.  Please ensure to abide by all state rules/requirements and note the Producer is responsible should any accidents occur on set.  


May I distribute my SAG-AFTRA covered new media production beyond new media? (e.g., television, release on DVD, etc.)

You may distribute your covered new media production beyond new media, after the initial new media release, without the prior consent of your performers or an upgrade in payment; however, residuals will be paid for the use of Made for New Media productions in traditional media based on the appropriate existing SAG, AFTRA or SAG-AFTRA Agreement formulas.

I’m a SAG-AFTRA member. Some of my other SAG-AFTRA friends and I create original short scripted videos for YouTube just for fun. Do we still need to become signatory?

Yes, because this falls under SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction. You must become signatory as you and your fellow performers must be covered and protected by the provisions of a SAG-AFTRA agreement in order to be in compliance with Global Rule 1. For more information on Global Rule 1, please click here.

May I defer payment for my performers? What exactly is a deferral?

You are able to defer payment to your performers under the SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement if your performers agree to the deferral. A deferral in payments means that you agree to make X payment when Y happens.

Example: A producer agrees to pay all principal performers $100 per day of work performed if and when the production receives DVD distribution and after the producer recoups production costs of $5,000. When deferring payment to the performer, P&H or H&R will also be deferred until the performers’ payment is triggered.

What is the minimum pay scale for new media productions?

Initial compensation can be negotiable* under the basic SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement for productions that do not meet the high budget thresholds; however, local, state and federal minimum wage laws still apply. 

Payment is due to the performer no later than five business days from the date worked.  SAG Pension & Health (P&H) or AFTRA Health & Retirement (H&R) contributions are due on the negotiated initial compensation, at a rate of 17% for both Principal Performers and Background Actors.

What is a Taft-Hartley report?

Whenever a Signatory producer hires a performer that is not a member of SAG-AFTRA they must report such hiring to the union in writing  within 15 days from the performer’s initial work date.

For additional information regarding Taft-Hartley reports, please click here.

May I hire both union and non-union performers for my SAG-AFTRA New Media covered production?

All Principal Performers and the first ten (10) Background Actors per day must be covered under a SAG-AFTRA contract. If, within reason, you need to hire a non-union member for any covered role, you must submit a Taft-Hartley report, within 15 days of the performers’ initial work date,

SAG-AFTRA does not assist in the casting process, but iActor is available to active Signatory producers. For further information on iActor and how to register, please click here.

Can SAG-AFTRA members work on New Media productions?


Yes, provided the Producer is signatory to the applicable SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement.

Please note any SAG-AFTRA member cast should be in Good Standing with the Union prior to rendering services.  Performer status is obtained by completing a Cast Clearance Report for each performer 24-48 hours prior to the start of production.

For more information on the Cast Clearance process, please click here.