We pride ourselves in our mission of empowering independent artists and we understand that sometimes great talent needs a helping hand when it comes to covering the cost of promotion. Our Ignite artist funding programme is designed to do just that as well as offering distribution, music publishing & sync representation.
We’ll be with you every step of the way leaving you to focus on what you love; the music.
Artists looking to unlock advances from the Ignite funding will go through an application process. Any granted funding will also come with a team of in-house experts who will work with you on release strategies, promotional plans and more.
Our dedicated and experienced team will also be responsible for registering and distributing your music, running campaigns and pitching for sync whilst keeping you updated every step of the way.
The advance will be recouped through your royalty earnings, all whilst you retain 100% ownership of your rights.
We believe in working together; your success is our success. That’s why we’ll work with you collaboratively from the moment we hit go. Music Gateway is a 360 platform which means we can distribute, publish and promote your music all under one roof.
No more going back and forth between different teams and platforms, you’ll have a dedicated account manager who will be there to guide you through the entire process from start to finish and our approach to strategizing is completely tailored to your plan and how we can maximise results.
Ignite is designed for artists and rights holders who have an existing portfolio of songs released with a proven track record of income across a 6+ month period. Our team will review your application and be in touch with further details and information they require.
Our Ignite Fund is not currently accepting new applications. However, if you have a promotional budget and would like to speak to an A&R representative, you can do so below.
As aspiring artists and young and old musicians alike will know, one of the biggest challenges musicians face is funding. The majority of business models within the music industry are naturally risk heavy – i.e. you spend money on making a record, manufacturing your record, making merchandise and promoting your music and then you hope to recoup your investment from sales of your record (royalty income) and sky-rocketing your music career. The music fund system is here to help.
And for many musicians, especially those at the start of their careers, there is the challenge to raise funding to actually make and promote your record to be in a position to make that initial investment. Here we’ll look at some of the funding programs available and explore how to get funding for a music project.
Music funding takes a few different forms depending on the purpose of the funding and the aims of the organization awarding it. The main types of funding are:
This is where an organization provides financial assistance to a specific project. It could be a specific production or recording project and will generally have a fixed timeframe and deliverable.
This is a grant for artists to develop their talent and explore their creativity. This is often awarded to individuals who operate in culturally significant areas that are often potentially not as lucrative financially.
Music relief funding grew significantly during 2020 and 2021 but has been around for some time. In a nutshell, a music relief fund is aimed at supporting musicians who have fallen on hard times. Musicians operate in a volatile industry with a lot of moving parts and this type of funding aims to help musicians in the event that work falls through.
Through a number of different platforms, artists can look to mobilize a fanbase to invest to achieve funding either for specific shows, tours, or records or for subscription-based models to provide general income support.
Partnership funding is more in the vein of a business relationship where the organization providing the finance first invests in the artist or project in question and is able to recoup their investment from future earnings (through record or ticket sales and/or publishing revenue, etc.)
If you have searched ‘fund my band’ or ‘fund my music’ online, you have probably come across a number of different sites and options and it can become quite overwhelming. Here are a few different options for funding:
Generally, government departments have some dedicated funding for the creative industries which usually is either project or development funding. The level of funding will vary depending on where you are located but in the UK you have The Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales and Creative Scotland.
In the US, funding is generally more at a state level but you have programs such as the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
The Canada Council for the Arts also has 6 different grants to promote the cultural output of Canadian creatives.
If you are looking at funding from an organization or from the government, then you will need to complete an application. Each grant program tends to have its own rules about who is eligible so be sure to check the eligibility requirements.
Funding is always super competitive so it’s good to spend some time making sure the application is perfect. Help Musicians UK have put together really good Top Tips for funding applications on their website.
Organizational funding is typically project, development or music relief and is awarded by entities such as the PRS through their Music Foundation, Help Musicians UK, The London Music Fund (which is focussed on education in the capital and has the Mayor of London as patron) and the BPI Music Growth Export Scheme in the UK.
As with government funding, it’s incredibly competitive – so again, try to make sure you applying at the right time in your career and that your application is as strong as possible.
There are a number of crowd funding platforms including Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and RocketFuel. These platforms generally have you establish a minimum finance amount that you want to raise. People can then pay money towards your goal with the pay-out if you reach the goal target. There are often different levels at which you can invest in exchange for different rewards – these can be exclusive content, unique package offerings, etc. and can really drive up the value of your investment proposal if you have a fanbase willing to invest in your music.
Along a slightly different line, you also have platforms such as Patreon. These are essentially the modern-day equivalent of a fan club. Users pay a monthly subscription to your Patreon and in return, they get exclusive content. This can be physical products, meet and greets, exclusive Q&A sessions, a first peek at new releases – whatever you want to give your fan club.
In the US, organizations such as The Music Fund offer grants of up to $50,000 in exchange for a percentage of future royalties. To qualify for The Music Fund’s financial input, there is a caveat that artists have earned at least $5,000 from streaming in a 12-month period. Distributors like AWAL and Kobalt also offer similar programs.
Music Gateway has recently launched a really interesting new offering supporting independent musicians in this area called IGNITE. Once you have applied and been accepted into the IGNITE music fund, you will be presented with an offer of an advance % towards the promotional services that Music Gateway offer (including plugging, PR, Spotify Promo, digital marketing, etc.), whereby Music Gateway will fund up to 100% of the fees, which is recoupable against future sales & publishing royalties. There is no obligation for you to accept the offer or continue, so you’re always in control of any final decision.
As we’ve highlighted, music funding in the form of grants can be very competitive but they can be a great way of financing projects.
Partnership funding can often be a little easier to secure and has the added benefit of incentivizing the partner providing the funding to support you in your music goals as they also benefit from the commercial success of your music. Having an experienced and motivated partner can be very beneficial in also helping you understand the best ways to invest your funding in order to achieve your goals.
Crowdfunding has the lowest bar to entry but has the drawback that you don’t receive any money unless you reach your goal for funding so you do need a motivated fan base. You also don’t receive 100% of the money you raise after the platform has taken its cut so it can be an expensive way to raise funds.
Is there a minimum term for Ignite?
Yes, once accepted onto the scheme it is a minimum of 12 months from signing the agreement or until the recoupment of any advances has been completed.
Can someone stop using the promotional services during the Ignite term?
Yes, we will not force you to use our services and you can stop the advances at any time you see fit, but any campaigns started will be completed and any previous campaigns will be recoupable under the agreement terms.
What happens if I get signed to a record label or publishing company or both?
This isn’t an issue whatsoever, you can stop Ignite at any time and immediately withdraw from the agreement on full recoupment of any advanced fees, which could be covered by yourself or the label/publisher you are signing to.
Do I have to put all my digital distribution and publishing admin through Music Gateway?
Yes, this will be how we will recoup our advances, so you must use our services for us to claim your royalties. Our advances are determined based on which elements you’re open to working with us on.
How do I know if I match the criteria?
To be considered, you should have an existing portfolio of songs released, be a registered member of a performing rights organization (PRO), such as ASCAP, BMI, PRS for Music. Our goal is to support talented individuals, so if you are not yet a member of any organization, artists of exceptional talent may be considered.
Factors included in the final decision include:
– Quality of music
– Traction with digital sales (streaming)
– Previous royalty payouts from PROs
– Previous sync history
– Future release plans
Can I leave and come back where I left off?
No, you can leave once we have recouped the advance you received from us at Music Gateway.
Can Any Account Type Apply?
Yes! Although an account with Music Gateway is required to proceed if you are accepted into the program.