In 2021, content creators often wield more influence than celebrities. SAG-AFTRA, the labor union representing 160,000+ entertainment industry pros, agrees. On February 7, 2021, the SAG-AFTRA board ratified an influencer union agreement to “cover content by certain types of influencers when they are paid to advertise products or services.”
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Which Content Creators Qualify For the SAG-AFTRA Influencer Union?
Professional actors qualify for a SAG card through paid video shoots, including brand commercials. Likewise, influencers with paid brand contracts can now get a SAG card. Influencer-generated branded video content is now, therefore, advertising.
To be eligible for the union, however, influencers must be incorporated as a business. If you are a full-time content creator, or plan to quit your day job soon to go pro on YouTube, applying for both incorporation and union benefits is a solid business move.
What Kind of Videos & Which Social Platforms Qualify for SAG-AFTRA Influencer Membership?
Videos you submit for influencer union membership consideration must be original content on your own social channels. Commercial ad campaigns through brands (i.e. TV commercials) do not count – those are a separate SAG-AFTRA union. Likewise, if a brand contract includes non-video services like personal appearances or media interviews, that portion of the contract’s services may not be counted towards SAG-AFTRA eligibility or benefits.
Eligible social networks include:
What Does SAG-AFTRA Influencer Union Coverage Include?
SAG-AFTRA will release full terms for influencer union coverage at a later date. As an example, though, SAG-AFTRA’s standard membership benefits give access to:
- health insurance
- the AFTRA Retirement Fund
- contracts & collective bargaining support
- help settling payment disputes between influencers and brands
- and much, much more