If you are working in an Advertising Agency, a Film/Media production or if you are a performer, such as a model, an actor, a musician or an extra, you have probably heard of buyouts.

Even if buyout is a global term in the Media Industry for talent usage, each country can have its own definition and term. But where the difference is really striking, is when it concerns the United States.

What British people call a Royalty, and most of the professional around the World call Buyout, is called Residual or Usage fee in the US.

It is also important to note that Performers in the US can be Union talent or non-Union talent. Most of the Union performers will be in the SAG (Screen Actors Guild). This is the case for the US, but also Canada and Mexico, which are all three in the NAFTA countries.

Those Talent Residuals are composed by many different elements that will be included into the final calculation, and depending on the media plan, such as:

  • program use
  • cable stations
  • local market use (L.A, N.Y and Chicago)
  • industrial use
  • and session fees for foreign countries, which are actually buyouts

Session fees, when a US commercial wants to air WorldWide, will include buyouts covering cinema and tv (internet should be calculated separately, around 400% of the session payment).

Residuals are often paid after the commercials air, around 12 business days, and this work is done by the Media Service Company.

There are many more details, concerning the rates and the way a Media Plan is handled in the US, which tend to usually confuse European Advertising Agencies or Performers.

For all the details regarding how residuals are handled in the US, Canada and Mexico, have a look at those interviews of Shaunda Slade from Media Services and Rene Bastian from Belladonna Productions :

If you want to learn more about buyouts, residuals, royalties or talent fees (you name it), have a look at our Interviews section on Buyout.pro :


You can also follow our Vimeo Channels for more interviews, and our Facebook and Twitter for staying up to date about the Buyout App, a revolutionary Web App that will let you handle all those buyouts with ease and transparency.