The Hitmaker Fund
About the fund
The Hitmaker Fund offers an opportunity for songwriters and producers working in popular music genres to further develop their careers and writing/production with grants of between £5,000 – £10,000.
Launched in 2017 as a response to the long-term career needs of those working behind the scenes, The Hitmaker Fund (formerly The Writer Producer Fund) was initiated by PRS Foundation with BASCA Trust.. The rebranded Hitmaker Fund is now delivered by PRS Foundation.
Find out about the previous Hitmaker Fund grantees here.
Spotify is the exclusive digital partner for Hitmaker. This new partnership will mean, more talented producers and songwriters will be supported across three deadlines in 2021 and that there will be a closer working relationship between 2021 supported grantees and the Spotify team for promotional and marketing opportunities.
Aaron Buckingham, Songwriter and Publishing Relations at Spotify said, “Songwriters are vital to the music industry, but often do not get the visibility they deserve. With this funding, we hope to help bring songwriters out from behind the curtain and into the limelight. We are proud to be the exclusive partner with the PRS Foundation to help empower songwriters to do what they do best: create and promote the music fans love.”
Who can apply?
In recognition of a gender gap in recent applications, this current round (deadline of 13th October 2021) of the Hitmaker Fund is only open to eligible women and gender minority applicants. *
The next round (early 2022) will be open to all eligible music creators of any gender identity.
Applicants for this current round must be:
- Women or gender minority^ (including writing duos or collectives where at least one member is a woman or gender minority creator)
- Songwriters (behind the scenes creators of new music who don’t also perform or produce), or
- Producers (those working on production who contribute to the songwriting process and are acknowledged as writers)
Applications can be made by women and gender minority songwriters / producers directly or by their representatives. Those who can apply on their behalf include;
- Music Publisher
- Trusted advisor
Support will cover the development of careers as songwriters. Any women and gender minority^ music creators considering themselves as performing artists first and foremost will be signposted to other schemes (see below).
*Consider your application a safe space to state whether your gender has been a barrier to your receiving the credits you deserve. Our advisors will factor this into eligibility decisions and your disclosure will handled in the strictest confidence.
NOTES ON ELIGIBILITY:
Applicants must have at least 5 credited works registered with PRS for Music – this means a reputable cut / songs that have national radio plays / streaming plays / from a reputable writing camp.
This application is not for writers and producers just starting out, demoing and developing. We are looking for writers and producers with successes in their writing careers and applicants must have a previous track record.
If you have been booked to take part in a one-off international writing camp, including a camp associated with an international showcasing event (e.g. By:Larm Songs, SXSW Songs, ADE Writing Camp), you should instead consider applying to our International Showcase Fund.
Applicants must submit at least 2 commercially exploited works for consideration and advisors will listen to at least 2 submitted works.
^ What do we mean by women and gender minority?
We acknowledge everyone who is underrepresented in music and might have encountered barriers because of their gender. As well as supporting cis women facing barriers because of their gender, we welcome applications and will support and empower minority genders including (but not limited to) agender and non-binary people. We welcome applications from trans people (AMAB and AFAB), and we are happy to speak to you if you are unsure if this targeted round is for you, so we can support your application.
We believe that inclusivity and intersectionality are vital in the steps that we make towards equality and we want to ensure all our programmes are as inclusive as possible. If you are unsure if this targeted round is for you is for you, please email email@example.com and someone can speak to you about this targeted round.
For more information on different gender identities, please see here.
What can be funded?
Activity supported is likely to cover a number of areas, which combined will support your career development. Activity can include;
- Time to create
- Training / Skills courses at places such as Point Blank / SSE
- Creative / Professional development (with detailed evidence)
- Studio hire
- Purchase of equipment / software / hardware (covers up to 25% of costs)
- Maternity leave and child care
- International activity that could build your profile and benefit your creative development (evidence based activity including songwriting camps, meetings, sessions)*
*Do note: Due to the ongoing effect of Covid-19 and related travel restrictions, and based on our advisors recommendations, we may prioritise applications that focus on UK-based or virtual activity. Grantees must make a strong case for international activity and Covid-19 contingency plans. We will constantly review this with our advisors and hope to make an update when there is more clarity
Why is this round only open to women and gender minority creators?
We are taking action because we recognise that women and gender minority music creators continue to experience barriers to progression because of their gender identity. Gender disparity and inequality is especially prevalent in the behind-the-scenes songwriting and production sector Hitmaker is set up to support. Worldwide, between 15%-20% of songwriter members of collection societies are women or gender minority, and the USC Annenberg Study regularly proves that only 2%-3% of producers involved in top charting tracks are women – a trend reflected here in the UK too.
In our recent Hitmaker Fund deadline demand from women and gender minority creators was lower than expected and we want to ensure that those women and gender minority gender tipping point behind-the-scenes songwriters and producers are encouraged to apply to the Hitmaker Fund so that they can be supported in taking those transformational steps funding support through the fund can provide.
Having pioneered the Women Make Musicand co-founded global gender equality movement Keychange, PRS Foundation finds that positive action works to address gender imbalance. In 2019, our major donor PRS for Music saw a 60% year-on-year increase in women songwriters joining the membership and we saw women, gender minority or mixed gender groups grow to 56% of music creator grantees, therefore we know that targeted initiatives can have real positive and tangible benefits.
Through this targeted round and by encouraging more tipping point women and gender minorities to apply we hope will encourage further diversity and representation for behind-the-scenes women and gender minority creatives long term. We are confident this action will have that impact and are determined to address the continuing imbalance which is starker in the world of songwriting and production.
The next deadline is 13th October 2021 at 6pm
If you are an artist or band, the following project-based funding schemes may be more relevant to you:
–PPL Momentum – supports artists/bands who make their own music and are at crucial career tipping points with team members in place to set up long-term careers – up to £15k for recording, touring, marketing, etc.
–International Showcase Fund – supports artists/bands at international showcase and conference events. Once you are invited to take part in international conference events, you can apply for up to £5k of funding.
– The Open Fund for Music Creators & Women Make Music – up to £5k of funding for projects which result in the creation and performance of outstanding new music. This differs from the Hitmaker Fund which focusses on long-term career development.
NB: PPL Momentum funded artists cannot be supported through The Hitmaker Fund.
NB: If as a writer/producer you have been invited to attend a one-off international showcase or conference event, we advise you to apply to the International Showcase Fund and not The Hitmaker Fund.