You may remember that Spotify wasn’t given the easiest of rides at this year’s Ivor Novello Awards in London.
The prestigious UK songwriter-rewarding ceremony, which took place on May 23, landed right in the middle of controversy surrounding a legal appeal from SPOT (plus Amazon, Google and more) against a statutory pay rise for composers and publishers from streaming platforms in the US.
Collecting an award that afternoon, Big Deal Music boss Kenny MacPherson said from the Ivors stage: “Remember that, as songwriters, you haven’t had a [US] raise for 110 years. F**k Spotify.”
This is all interesting context to heed when you learn about a new announcement today (October 25): The Ivors Academy, the body representing British songwriters/composers that puts on the ‘Ivors’ each year, has inked a three-year deal with Apple Music to “bring greater awareness within and outside the UK of the organisation, its activities and its incredibly talented members”.
As a result of the partnership, a Rising Star Award in association with Apple Music will be introduced at The Ivors next year. In addition, content from the event will be featured across the Apple Music platform, including its global livestream, Beats 1.
Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said: “2020 marks the 65th year that the Academy has presented Ivor Novello Awards and this new relationship with Apple Music marks an exciting evolution for us, alongside PRS for Music’s renewed commitment.
“We’re thrilled about bringing The Ivors to the fore for a new audience through the Apple ecosystem, as well as evolving the expertise and benefits we’re able to offer our members with the new programme of skills workshops we’re developing with them.”
That renewed commitment from PRS For Music amounts to sponsorship of two categories at the Ivors in 2020: the Most Performed Work and Icon Awards (Icon being the new name for the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award).
For many years, PRS For Music has been the headline sponsor of the Ivor Novello Awards, so this appears to represent a scaling back of the PRO’s support for the event.
(PRS will, however, continue its sponsorship of two other Ivors Academy events: The Ivors Composer Awards and The Ivors Academy Gold Badge.)
According to a press release, the new Rising Star Award will “honour young British or Irish songwriting and composing talent who demonstrate exceptional potential and ambition”. The winner will “receive ongoing support and mentorship from the Apple Music team”.
As part of its three-year tie-up, Apple Music will also create a new series of workshops and events Ivors Academy members. These workshops promise to “give members a deeper insight into how to best access and use the creative tools at their disposal to make music, as well as how their music is distributed and consumed”.
“Working with Apple Music will bring even greater awareness within and outside the UK and Ireland for The Ivors Academy, the Ivor Novello Awards and our activities in campaigning for, inspiring and empowering music creators throughout the industry.”
Crispin Hunt, Songwriter and Chair of The Ivors Academy, said: “Working with Apple Music will bring even greater awareness within and outside the UK and Ireland for The Ivors Academy, the Ivor Novello Awards and our activities in campaigning for, inspiring and empowering music creators throughout the industry.
“Apple Music have demonstrated their knowledge, resources and a commitment to paying music creators over many years, and are a fantastic addition to the support The Ivors Academy and PRS for Music offer songwriters and composers across every genre.”
Past Ivor Novello Award recipients include the likes of Jazzie B, Kate Bush, Stormzy, PJ Harvey, Ed Sheeran, Sir Elton John, Brian Eno, Gary Barlow, Wiley, George Michael, Annie Lennox and Amy Winehouse.
The Ivors 2020 will take place on Thursday, May 21 at the Grosvenor House in London, hosted by Paul Gambaccini.
There are no changes to the entry or judging process for The Ivors, which are run entirely independently by The Ivors Academy.Music Business Worldwide