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Sky Arts Unveils New Programmes Dedicated To The UK Music Scene

As we wait with bated breath for music venues, concert halls, clubs and arenas to reopen after over a year of closures, Sky Arts is today announcing a raft of brand new music programmes which will bring musicians from Soul II Soul to Slipknot straight to your living room.

Two brand new original commissions for music-lovers include:

The Live Revival
A new three-part series bringing together world class acts and breakthrough artists to shine a light on those hard-hit small music venues around the UK which are the beating heart of our music scene. Join musicians including Paul Weller, The Fratellis, James and The Charlatans as they revisit the regional venues they gigged in at the start of their careers to give exclusive one-off performances in a bid to spotlight the much-loved pubs and clubs which are increasingly under threat.

Noel Gallagher – Out of the Now
The legendary songwriter presents an up-close performance of music and storytelling from London’s Duke of York’s Theatre. Powered by his full formidable band, Noel will perform ten tracks spanning his career in Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Oasis, and walk us through some of the significant moments in his own life and career which continue to define British pop culture.

Phil Edgar Jones, Director, Sky Arts and Entertainment, commented:

“I don’t know what I’d have done without my favourite music to get me through lockdown and, while we are still missing the joys of live performance, Sky Arts is here with the next best thing – whether that’s digging into the archives for Guy Garvey: From the Vaults or the Best of Download for committed rockers, or if you’d prefer Handel’s La Resurrezionne conducted by Henry Bicket with The English Concert or Noel Gallagher telling his story in words and song in Noel Gallagher: Out of the Now or violin virtuoso Janine Jenson Falling for Stradivari – we’ve got something to suit every taste."

“We also wanted to turn our attention to the plight of the small music venue; the places all the great bands or solo artists started out and learned their craft. And we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from some of the greats of British music who have gone back to the places they began to pay homage with incredible performances that shine a light on these important places.”

Further new music programmes set to feature on Sky Arts in the coming months include:

Song for Nature
A specially curated concert for the London Climate Change Festival airing this evening for Earth Day featuring appearances from Rob Brydon, Janie Dee, David Suchet and Brian May.

Classic Albums
Returning for a new series with an in-depth look at some of the greatest albums ever made, kicking off with The Who’s legendary concept album, The Who Sell Out, followed by Soul II Soul’s triple platinum Club Classics Vol 1.

Handel’s La Resurrezione
A new production of Handel’s rarely performed sacred oratorio starring the English Concert conducted by Harry Bicket.

Matt Deighton: Overshadowed
Airing during Mental Health Awareness Week, the respected front man of acid jazz band, Mother Earth, guides us through his life, music and the challenges of mental health and musicianship.

Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan
A brand new feature documentary following the prolific founder of The Pretenders as she spends 15 weeks in lockdown working on 10 timeless new covers of Bob Dylan. The film will air on his 80th birthday.

Guy Garvey: From the Vaults
The Elbow frontman returns to lift the lid on decades of TV gold, including era-defining musical performances and interviews which haven’t been seen for years.

Best of Download Festival
Celebrating the best moments of the head-banging rock festival between 2011 and 2019, featuring Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Def Leppard and Halestorm.

Falling for Stradivari
Follow virtuosic violinist Janine Jensen as she finds and plays some of the most sought-after violins in the world, all of them steeped in musical history.

Darbar Indian Music Festival
Explore the ways in which Indian music can aid mindfulness, meditation and support mental health with a selection of Ragas which define Indian classical music.

Record Distributions To Songwriters And Composers In 2020

PRS for Music, the organisation that represents the rights of over 155,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, distributed a record £699.4m to its members in 2020, a year-on-year increase of 2% (£13.4m).

In a year that saw devastating impacts across most parts of the music industry, music creators relied on royalties more than ever for financial support. Through bolstering data processing to pay out royalties as quickly as possible and setting strong operational foundations in 2019, PRS for Music was able to react quickly and robustly when Covid-19 struck in late March 2020, helping to achieve this record result in distributions to its members. The society also reduced its net costs excluding charitable donations and subsidies by £12.1m, or 13.8%.

While distributions in 2020 were positive overall, many of the royalties paid out last year were collected before the first lockdown, meaning that the sharp decline in income will be felt by music creators through 2021 and beyond, with distributions expected to fall by at least 10%.

Overall, revenues collected from music being played in the UK and worldwide shrank by 19.7% (£159.9m) compared to 2019 to £650.5m, eradicating years of record growth.

Revenue generated from live performances of music represented the greatest percentage decline in 2020, falling by 79.1% (£42.7m) from £54m in 2019, to just £11.3m in 2020.

The majority of live music events were either cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions, including hundreds of high-profile festivals such as Glastonbury and arena tours from the likes of Harry Styles and Stormzy, as well as thousands of gigs at independent venues across the UK and grassroot events featuring predominantly emerging talent. Of the £11.3m collected, most related to live music events staged towards the end of 2019 and in the first quarter of 2020, including concerts from The 1975, Stereophonics, Mabel and Madonna’s UK tour, where PRS members’ repertoire featured prominently.

‘Public performance’ revenue overall, which, as well as live music events, includes music used in business premises, shops, cinemas, pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants, saw a significant 61.2% (£136m) downturn in revenue collected year-on-year, to £86.2m in 2020, again due to business closure.

This downturn is due to PRS for Music’s policy to only charge businesses for when they have been open and able to play music. ‘Payment holidays’ and pauses on invoicing for those impacted by enforced closures provided much needed relief to customers, particularly small businesses.

While most public performance sectors were adversely impacted, revenues from hospitality and nightlife industries were amongst the worst affected. Negative impact on revenue collected from retail was slightly eased by essential elements of the sector permitted to remain open by the government, such as supermarkets. Additionally, a rise in demand for online shopping and click-and-collect services, in turn led to increased demand for warehouse and storage facilities, many of which play music for employees.

International royalty income continues to be the largest revenue stream for PRS for Music members, underlining the enduring popularity of British music globally, but still saw a 10.7% (£29.7m) decline compared to 2019 on a constant currency basis. A total of £248.6m was collected through reciprocal agreements with societies around the world. One factor in this decline in international revenue, was the closure of the tourism industry; for example, with cruise ships not operating last year, royalty collections in this market reduced by 75%, from £7.2m to £1.8m in 2020.

With the exception of commercial radio, overall revenue from UK broadcasters remained relatively stable over the 12-month period, seeing a 2.6% decline from £130.8m in 2019 to £127.4m in 2020. A reduction in commercial radio advertising meant radio royalties fell by 9.2% (£4.6m) year-on-year to £45.2m, only partially offset by a small increase (1.5%) in income from TV, which totalled £82.2m.

Revenue generated from music played online was the only area to see growth in 2020, rising to £188.3m, a 5.1% (£9.1m) uplift compared to 2019. As well as increased revenues collected, distributions from online also saw the biggest uplift at 63.2% versus 2019.

Within online, revenue generated from music used across TV and film on-demand platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, saw the most notable uplift at 29.4% year-on-year. This was primarily due to a rise in subscriptions and film rentals taking place during national lockdowns.

Music played on streaming platforms like Spotify also contributed to the rise in overall online revenue. PRS for Music members featured on many of the most streamed hits of the year including Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa and Head & Heart by Joel Corry ft. MNEK; two of the highest performing songs in the official UK charts last year.

Last year’s increase in online income contributed to the exponential growth in this market in recent years, having grown by 344%, from 2015 (£42.4m) to (£188.3m) in 2020. As the online market continues to evolve and new platforms emerge, so too do opportunities for music creators to have their music played. In 2020, PRS for Music licensed over 30 new online platforms including TikTok, a service with over 800 million active users, and Triller, with royalties expected to start flowing through to music creators for the first-time next year. A sharp rise in the popularity of livestreamed concerts and growth in online gaming platforms, will also create new revenue streams in 2021.

This online growth is also reflected in the rapid increase and vast volumes of data processed by PRS for Music, both in-house and through its joint venture partners, with 22.4 trillion ‘performances’ of music processed in 2020. This figure includes music broadcast on TV and radio, played in business premises and played live around the globe, but is predominantly due to the increase in music being played online, and represents a 796% increase in music processed by the society since 2015.

The healthy increase in online royalties’ income and distributions, will not offset the loss of income for many music creators. For example, distributions to members from ‘public performance’ fell by 35.1% or £50.4m in 2020.

Research from charity Help Musicians found that 9 out of 10 people who work in the music industry are in crisis, facing mental wellbeing challenges amidst concerns around their future livelihoods. To support members, PRS for Music, in collaboration with its charity partners PRS Members’ Fund and PRS Foundation, launched the PRS Emergency Relief Fund, and has since paid out over £2.2m across 5,500 grants to songwriters and composers facing severe financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO, PRS for Music - "Composers and songwriters have relied more than ever on their PRS royalties in 2020. The increased distributions announced today, set against the most challenging of years, represents a significant achievement for PRS for Music.

The increase, driven by growth in online revenues, cannot alone negate the immense loss of income and harm on the whole music industry, and the livelihoods of those within it, in 2020. This year will be similarly challenging, as the dramatic fall in revenues during the last year will be reflected in declining distributions throughout 2021.

As we look forward, reopening of the live sector must be a priority, while the repercussions of Brexit will become clearer through new limitations on touring outside of the UK.

Music has played an invaluable role for many of us throughout periods of isolation, providing entertainment, escapism, and connection. We must not overlook the talented writers and composers behind the music we turn to. I am immensely proud of the PRS Emergency Relief Fund, paying out £2.2m in grants to members experiencing severe financial hardship because of the pandemic, and we will continue to do as much as we possibly can to support them".

NB: Total revenue figure, overall international revenue and overall online revenue presented on a constant currency basis.

Australia To Compete From Home Using ‘Live-on-Tape’ Performance

Australian public broadcaster SBS has confirmed that regrettably Montaigne and the rest of their delegation will be unable to travel to the Netherlands for the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2021 and will therefore compete from home, using their ‘live-on-tape’ performance.

The decision was approved by the ESC Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board.

Josh Martin (SBS Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation) explains how they came to this decision:

"Australia has embraced the Eurovision spirit for more than 35 years on SBS, and our affection and excitement for the contest has continued to grow since we first competed in Vienna in 2015. In 2021, Australia will once again compete in the world’s biggest song contest but this time our artist, Montaigne, will perform from home and not abroad.

After a comprehensive assessment, SBS has decided not to send an Australian delegation and artist to Rotterdam for the Eurovision Song Contest this year. We came to this difficult decision after considering the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, including the many factors involved in travelling to and from the event from Australia.

SBS and Montaigne are appreciative of the European Broadcasting Union’s ongoing support for Australia’s involvement in the event, and their commitment to ensuring Eurovision continues amid the challenges COVID-19 presents. Congratulations must also go to the Host Broadcaster for the outstanding work that is being done to create a successful Eurovision Song Contest this year. We are working with them to assist in creating a memorable and successful broadcast.

In true Australian spirit, Montaigne will still be fiercely competing in this year’s event with her uplifting and powerful anthem Technicolour, which is set to surprise and delight Europe, and show everyone we’re in it to win it. We are thrilled to be back and look forward to showing Europe our very best!"

Australia’s participant Montaigne adds:

"Naturally, I’m sad that for two years in a row I have been unable to participate in the live spectacle of Eurovision. My partner and I had been discussing what video games we would bunker down with in a hotel room in Rotterdam between rehearsals for the final event, and we were excited about it. Despite that disappointment, it is still an immense privilege to be able to participate and compete in Eurovision, in its fandom and its processes, two years in a row. I have been able to submit two songs that I’m proud of and that have meant significant things to people. I am still absolutely stoked that I can present Technicolour this year, in whatever form my final performance may come in! It’s such a beautiful festivity and not even a pandemic can put it to bed. Eurovision will live forever."

Paul Clarke, Creative Director of Eurovision – Australia Decides and Director of Blink TV, adds:

"Just because we are performing from the other side of the world, doesn’t mean we won’t be competitive. I’m very proud of Montaigne’s fighting spirit and we have a terrific creative concept to present – we can’t wait for you to experience Technicolour brought to life for Eurovision 2021. It’s an exciting challenge that we all want to rise to. We’re excited that it’s the first time part of Eurovision will be on Australian soil, and hopefully it won’t be the last! We’d also like to thank our friends at Eurovision for allowing us to compete from half a world away, and we are all sorry not to be there with you."

Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said:

"We regret that we are not able to welcome Montaigne to Rotterdam in May. However, we understand the unique challenges presented to the hard working Australian delegation who have until the very end tried their utmost to make their presence in the Netherlands possible. We are pleased that we are still able to let them compete with the other 38 participants thanks to the “live-on-tape” recording of Montaigne’s song Technicolour. Australia have always brought diversity, excitement and energy to the Eurovision Song Contest and despite their team being far away this year they will be close to all our hearts in Rotterdam."

Orange Amps Launches Online Vocal Performance Exams

Orange Learn, the educational arm of Orange Amplification, is excited to announce the expansion of its qualifications with the launch of Vocal Performance Graded Exams. Orange Amps has spent more than fifty years encouraging people to enjoy and participate in making music. Now, this includes vocalists.

The Orange Learn Vocal Performance syllabus and graded exams, developed in partnership with Online Music Exams, focuses entirely on the performance of songs, offering an additional progression route to traditional practical music exams with a carefully curated, contemporary list of suggested songs. Plus, it is more affordable in comparison to many of its competitors and its flexibility allows exams to be taken anywhere, at any time, and as many times as needed.

Popular songs featured in the modern syllabus include Olivio Rodrigo's Drivers License, Andy Grammer's Don't Give Up On Me, Billie Eilish's Bad Guy. Also featured are Shape Of You by Ed Sheeran, Cuz I Love You by Lizzo and Own it by Stormzy. However, students can choose their own songs providing they fit the parameter guidelines found in the syllabus.

There are nine graded exams in total, debut through to Grade 8. Grades 1 to 8 are regulated qualifications and recognised by the RQF* and EQF* via the awarding body, The Learning Machine. Each exam requires a student to introduce and perform a selection of songs. Students receive feedback from a professional singer and a vocal examiner, as well as a certificate of qualification on passing.

‘Music education has always been close to my heart,’ said Cliff Cooper, Orange Amps CEO, ‘Orange Learn’s Vocal Performance syllabus and exams is about encouraging the uniqueness of each individual to shine, allowing a space for them to develop performance and communication skills and gain a qualification.’

Students already learning to sing and looking for a vocal exam that is more cost effective and can be taken online, anytime or anywhere, can find out more at

ASCAP Surmounts Pandemic To Collect $1.327 Billion In 2020

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, overcame the unprecedented headwinds of 2020 to continue its record-breaking revenue streak, collecting more than $1.327 billion in revenues, a $53 million increase over 2019.

2020 marked the sixth year of ASCAP’s strategic plan to transform its business and grow revenues. During the execution of the strategic plan from 2015 through 2020, ASCAP exceeded performance goals and drove ASCAP revenues to a 6% compound annual growth rate and ASCAP distributions to a 7% compound annual growth rate.

2020 domestic and foreign revenues both saw significant increases. As compared to 2019, foreign revenue rose by 9% to $358 million. Domestic revenue for 2020 was up by 2.5% at $969 million, an increase of $24 million from 2019. The growth of domestic revenue was driven in part by gains of 28% in audio streaming revenue and 8% in audio/visual, matching shifting music consumption trends during the pandemic. ASCAP’s strategy to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 helped to offset uncontrollable declines in other sectors, including a 30% decline in revenues from businesses that were shut down or at reduced capacity during the last three quarters of 2020, such as live concerts and events, music venues, bars, clubs, restaurants, retail stores, hotels and more.

During a time period in which the global pandemic directly affected revenues for many companies that license music, ASCAP grew royalties for its songwriter, composer and publisher members by $29 million, or 2.5%, for a total of $1.213 billion available for distributions. Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances hit $891 million, an increase of $22 million, and foreign distributions totaled $322 million.

ASCAP operates on a not-for-profit basis and distributes all revenues collected, less operating expenses.

"2020 challenged all of us unlike any other year in modern history. It also defined ASCAP’s dedication to our members,” said ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews. “That meant strengthening our commitment to our mission to serve our songwriters, composers and music publishers by taking every step necessary to secure their livelihoods and careers. Inspired by our members each and every day, the ASCAP team proved that innovation, efficiency and progress really can be escalated in a crisis."

“I am so impressed by ASCAP and its extraordinary efforts in 2020,” said ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams. “The team worked extremely hard and under incredibly difficult circumstances to make up for revenues lost due to the pandemic and to deliver the financial security and support that music creators need to survive the crisis of our lifetime. Their work will have an impact for years to come and as an ASCAP member, I am deeply grateful. Together, we have met the demands of this challenging time period and we look to 2021 with greater hope and strength as a community.”

The ASCAP team met and transcended the demands of 2020, shining a brighter spotlight on its members and providing them with more resources to help weather the challenges of the time:

· ASCAP mobilized to deliver COVID relief through a major donation to MusiCares earmarked for its songwriters in need; fought for governmental COVID relief for music creators on the federal and state level; and launched Music Unites Us, a website to provide information on COVID resources for music creators.

· ASCAP rallied for racial and social justice through its Fight for Change resources page, by raising money for Color of Change and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, by establishing an annual internship program for HBCU students, by advocating for federal and state police reform bills, and through its ASCAP Citizen “GET OUT THE VOTE” campaign.

· ASCAP innovated toward greater transparency with the launch of SONGVIEW, a comprehensive data platform developed in partnership with BMI, which for the first time, enables ASCAP and BMI to display more detailed, authoritative and consistent copyright ownership data for performing rights for more than 20 million songs in their combined repertories.

· ASCAP adapted all of its major award shows, events and educational programs to virtual platforms, with participation from some of the world’s biggest music creators such as Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Diplo, DaBaby, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. The ASCAP Experience: Home Edition (formerly the ASCAP Expo) drew more than 10,000 registrants from 120 countries and featured conversations with award-winning music creators such as FINNEAS, Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark, Shaggy, Michael R. Jackson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Hans Zimmer and more.

· ASCAP elected over 58,000 new members in 2020 and is now home to over 800,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, from the most successful names in music to those at the early stages of their careers.

The ASCAP 2020 Annual Report can be viewed at

Island/UMe Set To Release 'Amy Winehouse At The BBC' On May 7

Amy Winehouse At The BBC, a 3LP/3CD collection chronicling the many remarkable performances by arguably the greatest and most genuine talent to emerge in British music in decades, will be released on May 7, 2021 through Island/UMe. For the very first time, this updated release offers audio-only versions of the songs featured on 'A Tribute To Amy Winehouse by Jools Holland' and the 'BBC One Sessions Live at Porchester Hall,' and so a high proportion of these tracks will be completely new to digital music services. "Stronger Than Me," "Tears Dry On Their Own" and "You Know I'm No Good" will be available March 24 on streaming services, and the video for "Stronger Than Me" will be available on YouTube. .b2This comprehensive collection captures the strong and enduring relationship that Amy enjoyed with the BBC and is further proof of quite what an extraordinarily talented, completely original, and truly engaging performer Amy was.

Amy Winehouse At The BBC includes Amy's earliest BBC Radio sessions, music from her first-ever TV performances, as well as unheard gems, rarities, unique covers and live versions of classic songs from "Frank" and "Back To Black." The set also includes a beautifully illustrated 20-page booklet featuring rare photographs.

Disc 1 is a selection of recordings chosen by Later presenter, songwriter and much-loved musician Jools Holland. Disc 2 is a 14-song audio selection dating from 2004 to 2009, while Disc 3 features the performances from Amy's memorable Porchester Hall sessions.

Like Amy's three previous albums, this collection will prove, once more, a fitting tribute to her peerless artistry, phenomenal talent, and extraordinary powers as a songwriter, a singer and an interpreter of classics.

Daddy Yankee Wins Songwriter Of The Year For The Third Time

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has announced the winners of the most performed songs of the past year in Latin music. For the third time in his career, hitmaker Daddy Yankee is named ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, adding to his record-setting collection for a total of 42 ASCAP Latin Music Awards. He also captured Songwriter-Artist of the Year in 2019 and 2017.

A global music icon, Daddy Yankee is known as the "King of Reggaeton" by music critics and fans alike. He has sold approximately 30 million records since his 2004 international hit single "Gasolina" made the genre a global phenomenon. In 2017, in collaboration with Latin pop singer Luis Fonsi, Yankee released the mega hit "Despacito" which became the first Spanish-language song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1996, the top-selling single of the decade 2010–2019 and the most-watched video on YouTube. Daddy Yankee has been named one of the Most Influential Hispanics by TIME and CNN.

ASCAP Latin Awards Song of the Year goes to heartbreak hit "Tusa" written by Keityn and Juan Camilo Vargas Vásquez; published by Girl Power Publishing, JCV Music, KCMusic, Kobalt and Sony Music Publishing. Performed by KAROL G and Nicki Minaj, it is the first song by two female artists to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.

The prestigious Publisher of the Year award is presented to Sony Music Publishing for top songs including "Tusa," "Caballero" and "La Santa." ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews, President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams, EVP and Chief Creative Officer John Titta, Vice President, Latin Membership Gabriela Gonzalez and the ASCAP Latin team hosted a virtual toast with Sony Music Publishing President and CEO, Latin America and US Latin Jorge Mejia, his team and winning SMP songwriters Keityn, Elena Rose, Nino Karlo Segarra, Juan Camilo Vargas Vásquez, Daniel Rondón and Rafa Rodríguez (The Honeyboos) to celebrate the award.

The event kicked off last night with a virtual pre-concert featuring performances from winners Danny Ocean, Elena Rose and Vibarco. The coming days will feature special performances and appearances on @ASCAP social media from Latin music superstars Marc Anthony, Jhay Cortez, Farruko, Génesis 'Nesi' Rios, Nio Garcia, Tempo and more.

ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams introduced the roll out of the winners, saying, "We are so thrilled to honor your amazing achievements of the past year at our El Premio ASCAP - our annual Latin Music Awards. Once again we will come together in spirit and solidarity. Starting today, we welcome your fans from all over the world to join in and celebrate your success. On behalf of your ASCAP family, I want to say congratulations to all of this year's winners for your incredible musical achievements. Felicitaciones!"

Hosted by Colombian singer, rapper and songwriter Farina, the ASCAP Latin Music Awards are presented today through March 25 in both Spanish and English via @ASCAPLatino and @ASCAP on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with the hashtags #ElPremioASCAP and #ASCAPAwards. Fans, friends and peers can tune in starting at 10:00 AM ET today to see the premiere of exclusive winner acceptance speeches, unboxing videos, home studio tours, photos and more from the genre's hottest songwriters and top publishers.

The complete list of winners is available on the ASCAP website:
in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

Applications Open For Richard Antwi Music Business Scholarship

Applications for the Richard Antwi Scholarship are now open for the 2021/22 academic year for the Music Business Management MA course.

The Richard Antwi Scholarship, which was established in 2017, aims to provide full support to a student on the highly regarded Music Business Management MA course at the University of Westminster, covering full tuition fees, a contribution to living expenses and the opportunity to undertake work experience. It is aimed at music entrepreneurs from the UK Black and Minority Ethnic community. Applicants do not need to have an undergraduate degree; however they should share Richard Antwi’s passion for music and his entrepreneurial spirit.

Richard Antwi was a much-loved and widely-respected music manager, lawyer and entrepreneur who played a pivotal role in the careers of Wretch 32, Lethal Bizzle, Daley, Wiley, Tinie Tempah and others. His untimely death in 2016, at the age of just 38, triggered a flood of tributes from across the music industry. Having grown up in north west London in a Ghanaian family, Richard went to a local comprehensive school before studying Law at the University of Oxford. He regularly mentored young Black and Minority Ethnic entrepreneurs in the community and contributed to the Music Business Management MA course at the University of Westminster as a guest speaker.

Talking about the scholarship, Sally-Anne Gross, Course Leader for Music Business Management MA, said: “The Richard Antwi Scholarship offers an incredible opportunity to UK based music business entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who wish to spend a year studying the music business and developing their own careers in an exciting and supportive environment with us on the MA Music Business Management course here at Westminster."

2019 recipient of the Richard Antwi Scholarship, Esther Bokuma, said: "Being supported by the Richard Antwi Scholarship for my Music Business Management MA has truly been a life changing experience. It unlocked new knowledge and career opportunities that I hadn't considered prior to embarking on the course. It presented me with the space and time to consolidate my previous industry experience as an artist and educator, grow new professional relationships and gave me the confidence to explore new pathways within my research. I have really valued the support of the dedicated scholarships team and course leaders, not only during my degree but beyond graduation, they've been a source of encouragement and counsel as I continue to carve out my career in the music industry."

Stock Music Market Size To Reach Revenues Of USD 2 Billion By 2026

The growing demand for podcasts and the rise in the audio-based user experience are expected to boost the track-based stock music market growth according to a new report published by Airzton. The market is expected to grow higher in North America and APAC with projected incremental revenue of over USD 348 million and USD 135 million respectively by 2026.

Consistency, in terms of standards, has driven the demand for licensed music and is expected to continue over the next few years. High curation standards have led to the music that is largely cinematic and emotion-based as opposed to flat, thereby driving the market at a rapid pace.

The growing demand for improving movie experience is expected to boost the market for large business stock music, which is likely to grow at a CAGR of over 10% between 2020 and 2026. There is a shift in the consumption preference of digital content from passive, video-based to audio-based content. This has resulted a change from "look and feel" to "listen and feel," which has fostered the use of audio branding where consumers can easily identify with the brand.

For a sample of this report, go to

Lana Del Rey lands 5th UK No. 1 with 'Chemtrails Over The Country Club'

Mitch Murray CBE Commemorated With Set Of Ten Stamps

The life and achievements of Mitch Murray CBE are being celebrated by the Isle of Man Post Office in a set of ten stamps.

Songwriter-composer, producer and former Performing Right Society writer director, Mitch Murray CBE, whose career spans sixty years, has lived on the Isle of Man since 1978. Throughout his songwriting career his hits topped the charts and were performed by bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers How Do You Do It? and I Like It, Georgie Fame Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, Paper Lace Billy Don’t Be A Hero and Tony Christie Avenues and Alleyways, Las Vegas and I Did What I Did For Maria. With Freddie and The Dreamers, he had his first American number one hit: I’m Telling You Now.

In 1971 he founded SODS: The Society Of Distinguished Songwriters whose members include Don Black, Mike Batt, Gary Barlow, Sir Tim Rice, Tony Hatch, Justin Hayward, Barry Mason and 40 more.

Mitch Murray CBE said: ‘This fabulous collection, issued by the Isle of Man Post Office, represents my career in all its aspects, and covers a period of sixty years. It’s an honour I could never have imagined receiving.’

Chris Raynor of Paper Lace said: ‘The Paper Lace success was due to Mitch Murray & Pete Callander... without Mitch’s commercial and catchy songs the world may never have heard of the band.’

Maxine Cannon, general manager, Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, said: ‘It is a real privilege for us to work with Mitch Murray and to be able to commemorate his career so far with this dynamic and vibrant stamp collection. His many achievements are an impressive collection of success and we are proud to feature them on this very special stamp collection together with a world first: a new musical composition released via a stamp issue!’

In a world first, Mitch Murray’s new composition The Mannin Suite, an homage to the Isle of Man’s legendary Fairy Bridge, will be released first and exclusively, for a limited period, ‘Zapparaccess-only’ via this stamp collection.

NMPA Announces Top Gold & Platinum Songwriters For 4th Quarter Of 2020

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has anounced the top songwriters for the fourth quarter of 2020, including the top songwriter for the Q4 period.

During October, November and December of 2020, 1,670 Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum certifications were awarded and 21 Savage was the top songwriter overall with 21 certifications. He is published by BMG. He was followed by Trippie Reed, published by UMPG with 19 certifications.

21 Savage commented on the honor saying, “Being the biggest songwriter of Q4 is a huge honor. Writing is my passion, and seeing that success reflected is a good way to start 2021.”

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite congratulated the honorees saying, “2020 was a huge year for music as more and more people turned to it for entertainment and comfort as the pandemic continued on. I commend the songwriters certified in Q4 for their creativity and perseverance through this unprecedented time. Particularly 21 Savage who proved his dominance with solo and collaborations that went five and six times Multi-Platinum.”

About the NMPA G&P Program:

NMPA’s Gold & Platinum Program, in partnership with RIAA's Gold & Platinum Program, identifies and honors the songwriters behind today’s biggest hits. NMPA confirms songwriters with their music publishers to ensure all appropriate songwriters are recognized for their contribution to an RIAA certified single. Certifications count both sales and on-demand streams towards gold (500K), platinum (1M) and multi-platinum (2M+) thresholds. Thousands of songwriters have been certified since NMPA’s program began in 2007. For more information and to view our Gold & Platinum database, visit

New Figures Show More Women Entering Songwriting Profession

New figures show that despite increases in women entering the profession, gender balance within the professional songwriter and composer community remains heavily skewed towards men.

In 2020, PRS for Music, the organisation that represents over 150,000 music creators and publishers, recorded 1,971 women registering as professional songwriters and composers. This represents a 12.3% year-on-year increase compared to 2019, and near twofold increase (79.6%) compared to 2018, when 1,097 women registered. Over half (58%) of women joining PRS for Music in 2020 were under the age of 30.

Despite progress, men make up 81.7% of PRS for Music’s membership, which is significantly higher than the music industry as a whole. Umbrella body, UK Music, reported the proportion of women working in the music industry had reached a record high of 49.6% in its latest Diversity Report for 2020.

While last year was an unprecedented financial year for the entire music industry due to the pandemic, male music creators still earned more money than women. Research released today found that the top 10 highest earning female songwriters and composers, generated 70% less income than their male counterparts in 2020. The drop in income for women reflects a widening of the gap compared to 2019, where the deficit between the highest earning men and women was 67%.

Of all songwriters and composers who received a royalty in 2020 from their music being streamed, downloaded, broadcast, or performed, only one in six (16.7%) were women, highlighting the ongoing challenges women face as music creators when vying for opportunities for their music to be heard.

There is still much work to do to bridge the gender gap and PRS for Music, along with industry partners, is playing its part. For example, PRS for Music is actively collaborating with Girls I Rate, founded by songwriter Carla Marie Williams, to effect change and create opportunities for young women entering the music industry to succeed. While recent activities with Women in CTRL, founded by songwriter Nadia Khan, set up to empower women and underrepresented groups to advocate for fairness and equality in the music business, are focussed on dramatically increasing gender diversity within senior leadership roles on the PRS Members’ Council.

Across the music industry, PRS for Music will be actively encouraging members and staff to support positive change to address current gender bias and inequality, singing to the tune of this year’s International Women’s Day 2021 theme, #ChooseToChallenge.

"Celebratory moments in the year like International Women’s Day are an important opportunity to reflect on the progress being made for gender equality around the world. PRS for Music and our industry has a long way to go. Initiatives like, Keychange, led by our charity partner, PRS Foundation, are doing incredibly important work to create a more sustainable and stronger music community for all genders. Creating equity and access to opportunity should be at the forefront of everything we do".
Andrea Czapary Martin, Chief Executive, PRS for Music

"We are incredibly proud to welcome almost 2,000 women joining the PRS for Music community as professional songwriters and composers in 2020, showing creativity is alive and well. Dedication to the craft is still thriving and music creators have shown great resilience through the pandemic. While promising, this number represents just a quarter of our new joiners. We continue to work closely with our members and wider music community to inspire the next generation of music creators from all backgrounds, as we all work together towards a more balanced, representative music industry".
Michelle Escoffery, Ivor Novello Award-winning songwriter and President of the PRS Members’ Council.

USA Songwriting Contest Produces Another Grammy Winner!

Joanie Leeds - the First Prize winner of the 2013 USA Songwriting Competition (as well as a current finalist in this year's event) has also won a Grammy in the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards (2021) in the "Best Children's Music Album" category for her album "All The Ladies".

The album incidentally is produced by 2019 GRAMMY Winner, Lucy Kalantari, an honorable mention winner of the 2018 USA Songwriting Competition.

"It is truly an honour to have received the GRAMMY for All the Ladies as my peers in the music industry voted. It was a collaborative effort with a team of talented women and I am so filled with joy it was heard by so many", said a jubilant Joanie Leeds, the singer-songwriter from New York City.

The USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television, and winning Grammy Awards.

USA Songwriting Competition Honorable Mention winner (2017 Competition) and finalist (2018 Competition) Lucy Kalantari of New York, NY won a Grammy Award for Best Children's album at the 2019 Grammys.

Meghan Trainor (USA Songwriting Competition finalist) won Best New Artist in the 2016 Grammy Awards, making her the only winner in the top categories (Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, etc) of the Grammy Awards. Meghan Trainor hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, and debuting #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Charts. She has a total of 9 songs that have hit the Billboard Hot 100 charts as an artist.

Christopher Tinn (USA Songwriting Competition First Prize winner, Instrumental category in 2014, Finalist in 2010) won two Grammy Awards for his classical crossover album Calling All Dawns in 2011.

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer (USA Songwriting Competition 2011 First Prize winner, Children’s music category) have earned two Grammy Awards for their recordings “cELLAbration: a Tribute to Ella Jenkins” in 2004 and for “Bon Appétit!” in 2005. Their CDs “Postcards” and “Banjo Talkin’” were both Grammy Awards nominated in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. They have received a total of 12 Grammy nominations so far.

Sony Music Publishing UK Renews Global Deal With Don Black

Sony Music Publishing UK has extended a worldwide deal with Tony and Oscar-winning, Hall of Fame songwriter and lyricist Don Black.

Don Black is celebrated around the world for his legendary songs and lyrics featured across film, Broadway, television, and popular music. Some of his most notable works include the James Bond theme songs "Thunderball," "Diamonds Are Forever," "The Man With The Golden Gun," "Surrender" from Tomorrow Never Dies and "The World is Not Enough." He is also well known for writing popular hits "Ben" by Michael Jackson, Lulu's "To Sir With Love," "Born Free," and many musicals including Tell Me On A Sunday and Sunset Boulevard with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Currently, Don is working on several upcoming projects – he is writing songs with Van Morrison, collaborating on various new musicals, and his hugely successful autobiography The Sanest Guy in the Room comes out in paper-back shortly.

Don Black said, "I'm delighted to renew my relationship with Sony Music Publishing. I am particularly excited to be working with the young and inspirational David Ventura and Tim Major."

Sony Music Publishing UK President, Co-Managing Director David Ventura and Co-Managing Director Tim Major said, "Don is a living legend and a true hero of ours. Sony Music Publishing has a proud history with Don and it is a true honour for us to have the opportunity to expand and re-energise the relationship with him and Clive as we focus on the future together."

With a career spanning six decades, Don Black has worked with and written for some of the world's top composers, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Barry, Jule Styne, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, and Elmer Bernstein. He has also penned songs for prominent motion pictures including The Italian Job, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, True Grit, Dances With Wolves, and Out of Africa.

He has earned numerous top accolades for his music, including his 2007 induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, an Oscar for "Born Free," five Academy Award nominations, two Tony Awards, six Ivor Novello Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and most recently the prestigious Olivier Award presented by the Duchess of Cornwall.

BBC Launches Young Composer
2021 Competition

BBC Young Composer has launched countless musical careers since its inception in 1998. Formerly known as the BBC Proms Inspire competition, since rebranding in 2020 with a mission to reach a wider pool of talent, last year saw the highest ever number of entries. Entrants embraced a wide range of musical styles, with influences ranging from hip-hop and electronica to contemporary classical and orchestral film music. Inspiration for their works came from a wide variety of subjects, including racial identity, the natural world and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The BBC is seeking musically-minded students aged 12 to 18 of all technical abilities, backgrounds, and musical influences to submit an original composition and recording. Any genre, any instruments, and any method of composing are welcome - music-makers may not think of themselves as a composer, but if they love to create their own original music then the BBC wants to hear from them. All compositions are judged anonymously and assessed on their compositional idea, creativity and originality.

Winners will be given the brilliant opportunity to participate in a tailored development programme working with a mentor composer on a project with the BBC Concert Orchestra, culminating in a performance or broadcast opportunity.

In what’s been a challenging year for so many young people, BBC Young Composer hopes to inspire young people from all over the UK to get creative and submit their work.

David Pickard, Director of BBC Proms, says: “There is a wealth of musical talent across the UK, and it’s more important than ever to nurture the next generation of music-makers from every style and genre. It’s been a privilege to watch previous winners develop as composers, and last year’s competition saw such variety – not only in musical style, but also in inspiration with thought-provoking themes explored. The BBC is incredibly proud to be able to offer these mentorship opportunities for young musical innovators and we look forward to hearing from aspiring composers working in all genres.”

The competition sits at the heart of BBC Young Composer, which has offered a platform for hundreds of young composers aged 12 to 18 from across the UK to further their artistic and professional ambitions. Many of today’s leading composers are counted in the outstanding list of BBC Young Composer alumni, including Shiva Feshareki, Kate Whitley, Alissa Firsova, Mark Simpson, Tom Harrold, and Duncan Ward.

BBC Young Composer remains committed to assisting its alumni in launching their careers through its Ambassador scheme, connecting composers to commissioning opportunities at the BBC. Recent alumni, including Grace-Evangeline Mason, Alex Woolf, Xia Leon Sloane and Sarah Jenkins, have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Proms.

The judging panel for the 2021 Young Composer Competition is due to be announced in due course.

Entries close at 5pm on Monday 28 June, and the competition is open to young people aged 12 to 18 (at the closing date). Please visit to find the rules of the competition and how to enter.

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