It means that many will now, for the first time, earn money when their songs are streamed on services like Spotify and Amazon Music.
Sony said it could not name the eligible acts due to confidentiality agreements, but a source said it would "include household names".
Musicians typically take on debt when they first sign to a record label. They are given a lump sum, known as an advance, to pay for recording studios, video shoots, distribution and other expenses. The money is then paid back when they sell their music.
However, many artists never earn enough to repay their advances, often because they get unfavourable royalty rates from their own record companies. Heritage black artists have been particularly affected.
And until the debt to their label is repaid, those artists are not eligible to receive income from streaming, and other royalty payments.
That's how an act like TLC, who were signed to Sony subsidiary LaFace Records, ended up declaring bankruptcy in the 1990s.