Record Labels

Sony Music Now Offering Artists Mental Health Support

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The label has also appointed Susan Moultrie to spearhead the Artists Forward program, which hopes to distinguish Sony as more artist-friendly than its competitors.

Sony Music Entertainment is expanding on its previously announced Artists Forward program with a new initiative covering mental health services for its artist roster.

Launched in June, Artists Forward most prominently includes the "Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program," which forgives the unrecouped balances of artists -- and, as of July, songwriters -- who signed to Sony Music prior to 2000 and have not received advances since that same year, effectively allowing them to collect royalties from the label. The overall program -- applied retroactively to Jan. 1, 2021 -- is a play by Sony to distinguish itself as the most artist-friendly of the major labels by being “a true partner of the artist, supporting them in all stages of their career,” a source familiar with the program told Billboard at the time of the original announcement.

The newly-announced initiative, Artist Assistance, will give Sony artists active on the label’s roster across the globe access to free, confidential counseling services from licensed therapists in over 70 languages to address concerns such as depression, anxiety, grief and relationship issues. Additionally, the initiative will drive further awareness among U.S.-based artists that they have access to health care and retirement services that are already available through Sony Music’s affiliations with artist organizations including unions.

Announced concurrently with Artist Assistance was the hire of music industry veteran Susan Moultrie to spearhead the Artists Forward program as senior vp artist initiatives and business administration. According to a release, Moultrie will oversee the development and execution of forthcoming offerings under the initiative, including a global program that will provide newly-signed artists with “expanded information and resources" on how Sony works with artists to secure placements with digital partners; how to avoid leaks ahead of release; and how to prevent last-minute creative changes due to clearance issues. Sony also plans to expand its resources focused on answering artists' and other participants’ questions around earnings statements, payments and how the label’s artist portal and data analytics tools work.

Moultrie's hire marks a return to Sony Music, where she first worked between 1991 and 1993 as manager A&R administration. Following a two-year stint as vp finance & operations at Uptown Records, she returned to Sony in 1995 as vp at Epic Urban (1995-1998) and senior director A&R administration (1998-2008). Other previous roles include CFO at Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, COO at NYLON Media and COO at pre-marketing agency Evoke Inc.

In addition to the Artist Assistance and Legacy Unrecouped Balance programs, Artists Forward includes a real-time advance feature that allows its U.S. and U.K. artists to receive instant advances on projected future earnings. It also invites them to use a pre-existing cash-out feature to request a withdrawal of all or part of their payable balance each month as soon as it becomes available, with no fees or charges.

For more information on Artists Forward, artists can speak with their local label representatives and/or visit artistsforward.sonymusic.com.