new media

Can I distribute my SAG-AFTRA covered new media production beyond new media? (e.g., TV, cable, 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 member 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.

Are there residuals for use in new media?

Residuals will be due for use in new media only if an original, made for new media program’s final total cost, as exhibited, is $25,000 or more per minute and it is exhibited on a consumer-pay-platform beyond 26 weeks.

Can 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 first date worked, stating your reason for hiring that performer over a union Performer.

What is the minimum pay scale for new media productions?

Initial pay is negotiable under the SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement. There are no minimums under this contract; 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.  Pension & Health or Health & Retirement contributions are due on the negotiated initial compensation, at a rate of 16.5% for both principal performers and background actors.

How do I become Signatory to the SAG-AFTRA New Media Agreement?

To begin the signatory process, please complete an online application at, or you may choose to sign through our traditional paper process by completing and submitting the preliminary information sheet which can be found in the Production Center here. You may also contact SAG-AFTRA New Media at or by calling (323) 549-6446.

What is a Taft-Hartley?

The Taft-Hartley Act is a US Federal labor law enacted by Congress in 1947. As it relates herein, the law allows a signatory producer to hire a non-union performer if that non-union performer possesses a quality or skill essential to the role and an available union performer with the needed quality or skill cannot be found. When hiring a non-union performer for a SAG-AFTRA covered role, you must submit to the union a Taft-Hartley report with the performers information, the reason for hire and the performers headshot.

Can 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.