GEMA CEO Dr. Harald Heker
Photo: Isa Foltin/Getty Images
Germany's GEMA Launches $43 Million Songwriter Emergency Coronavirus Fund
As the world's goverments work to manage the economic fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic, the entertainment indutry also searches for solutions. German perfororming right organization GEMA has announced the launch of a $43 million emergency fund for its songwriter and composers members.
“It is already foreseeable that the economic consequences of the corona pandemic will be devastating for the entire creative industry,” said the organization's CEO, Dr. Harald Heker. “GEMA will use all available means to support its existentially threatened members as best [we can] to cushion the economically catastrophic effects for our customers.”
The funds will be provided in a two-stage program, with the first wave given to composers and lyricists who also act as performers, a way of addressing financial difficulties due to the cancellation of live concerts. The fund's second stage will provide financial support to individual hardship cases among its songwriters.
Just last week, the Recording Academy and MusiCares launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund, contributing $1 million each for a total of $2 million. The funds will go toward helping people in the music industry affected by the coronavirus disease outbreak and subsequent widespread cancellation of music events. Already, artists such as Alicia Keys and companies like Bandsintown have pledged to raise money for the fund.
GEMA's statement in support of its members also comes after Friday's announcement of a Netflix $100 million emergency relief fund to support those hit hardest by suspension of its productions due to COVID-19. The company’s Chief Content Office, Ted Sarandos said, "This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide.”