Hitmaker Guidance and FAQ’s
This is guidance for Hitmaker funding specifically, it is important you have also read and understood our general PRS Foundation Guidance and FAQs page before applying. For general PRS Foundation Guidance and FAQs please click here.
Please see our deadlines page for application opening dates and deadlines.
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 partnership will mean more talented producers and songwriters will be supported and that there will be a closer working relationship between supported grantees and the Spotify team for promotional and marketing opportunities.
- This application is not for performing artists/bands
- The Hitmaker Fund is intended to support behind the scenes songwriters and producers with a demonstrable track record. If you are at an earlier stage in your career please click here for other funding options, including The Open Fund.
If you answer YES to the questions below you may qualify for the Hitmaker Fund and should consider applying.
Songwriters and producers applying for funding will have to make strong cases for support by demonstrating that they are;
- At a crucial tipping point stage in their career
- Have a previous track record of getting recent cuts, co-writes and collaborations
- Are proactive with their own careers to get cuts, co-writes and collaborations
- Are clear on the type of records they want to write and produce
- Must be able to propose where the funding will be spent, how it will help take them to the next stages in their career and develop them creatively and professionally
- We are unable to support artists signed to ‘major label deals’
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.
* Eligible applicants will be for non-performing or behind the scenes songwriters and producers.
Please note: PRS Foundation has full eligibility criteria that apply across our funding schemes which you can read on our Applicant Guidance and FAQs page.
The last round of Hitmaker was targeted for Women and Gender minorities, this round is open to all and we continue to strongly encourage applications from Women and Gender minorities.
UK based songwriters and producers applying for The Hitmaker Fund must have a previous professional track record as a writer or a producer. If you are a producer and performer, you cannot apply in a performing capacity. You will have to state your case as a producer and songwriter only. Performing Producers and DJ’s should apply for Artist based projects through the PPL Momentum Fund / Open Fund (see more below).
The songwriter / producer must be a registered PRS For Music member with a CAE number.
Applicants for this current round must be:
- 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 songwriters / producers directly or by their representatives. Those who can apply on their behalf include;
- Music Publisher
- Trusted advisor
N.B. If you are on a major publisher, then you are ineligible to apply for this fund. If you are coming out of a deal, you will have to have come to the end of your deal and include this as evidence in your application form. Once you have come to the end of your deal, then you will be considered as eligible to apply.
You can apply for £5,000 – £10,000 to contribute to the development of you as an behind the scenes songwriter or producer. We recommend you budget realistically to show what you need.
For Guidance on application budgets please see our Applicant Guidance and FAQs page.
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)
- Van/car purchase
- International touring
- Support for a roster of artists – each application must focus on one artist
- Projects requesting funding that would, is or could be covered by the deal the artist/band has with a label, publisher, management company or other relationships (e.g. touring costs). Please see further guidance and FAQs.
- Capital projects (e.g. building work)
- Building a studio
*You will be asked to outline in your application the details of any label/publishing deals that you are currently covered by and will be given the opportunity to explain why they are unable to cover the costs of this project.
We advise you make a start on the application when you’re sure you’re eligible for this fund and have a clear plan in place for the next stages of your career.
The Hitmaker Fund has 2 deadlines a year. We aim to communicate results back to all applicants with a decision within 12 weeks of a deadline passing. All our funding decisions for the Hitmaker Fund are made by an expert group of panellists and you can find more info about our advisors and decision making process here.
All Hitmaker applications must be submitted by 6pm on the day of the deadline.
Please contact email@example.com should you require any further information.
Check the deadlines page for the next deadline here and please be aware of our limits on maximum applications per calendar year.
What are the most common reasons applicants are unsuccessful?
Many applicants meet our funding criteria and score well. But high demand means we have to prioritise the highest scoring applications. The competitive nature of this fund is in most cases the reason an application has not been funded.
- Some applications are ineligible (e.g. applying for activity that is happening before the decision date).
- Applicants applying for 100% project costs from PRS Foundation are unlikely to be selected (we are unable to support full project costs).
- The activity plan submitted did not demonstrate how funding would have a significant impact on their careers.
- The activity did not highlight clearly why funding is needed.
- The application did not show enough confirmed provisional activity in detail.
What is a crucial career tipping point?
PRS Foundation understands that the journey for each music creator is unique, and therefore we are not prescriptive as to what constitutes a crucial career tipping point as this will vary between music creators. However, we do expect that applications can demonstrate a strong track record and at least 5 song credits in your application.
Can I apply to the Hitmaker Fund and another scheme such as the Open Fund for Music Creators?
We advise applicants to only apply to the funding scheme that they feel best fits their career level and project.
As a Songwriter/Producer, can I apply for costs to cover my time project managing?
Many applications are made by artist managers on behalf of individual Songwriters/Producers. Songwriter/Producer managers make a significant contribution in terms of planning, managing and implementing planned projects.
Since launching in 2013, PRS Foundation has found that in many cases these managers are contributing financially to ensure a project goes ahead. We expect and plan for this trend to continue, particularly where established managers and large management companies are involved.
Since April 2018, and following advice from the Music Managers Forum (MMF), PRS Foundation recognise that for many managers industry trends have presented significant barriers to entry and income uncertainty. As a result, managers who are able to justify project management cost allocations may include a fair sum under ‘Additional Expenditure’ column within the Expenditure Section of the Hitmaker Fund Budget.
Am I eligible to apply if I am signed to a major?
If you are signed to a deal with one of three large major record labels (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group) then it is highly unlikely you would be eligible for PRS Foundation support through the Hitmaker Fund.
If you are currently signed to a major label or publisher on a traditional record deal model you are likely ineligible for PRS Foundation support. However, we understand that new models and deal types can result in uncertainty. Should you be concerned and want to discuss further please get in touch to discuss your application with the grants team directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
This would also apply to any subsidiary labels from these majors.
If you have read all the guidance and checked the deadlines page