This year, The Ivors Academy, the UK’s leading membership organisation for songwriters and composers, championed and promoted the rights and achievements of music creators, and supported our members’ careers through campaigning, programmes, partnerships and benefits.
We partnered with Amazon Music to grow the world’s biggest celebration of songwriters and screen composers, The Ivors. The event featured live music performances from Sting, Raye, and Matilda Mann, and a Twitch backstage broadcast reached new and more global audiences. Throughout the year, the Academy worked with Amazon Music to create tailored opportunities for Rising Star Award nominees to develop their careers.
The Academy also celebrated songwriters and composers through The Other Songs Live, the biggest live performance-based celebration of songwriters. Hosted at the London Palladium, the event raised £65,000 for The Ivors Academy Trust and The BRIT School and saw performances from Dave Stewart, Shaznay Lewis, AR Rahman, Pam Sheyne, Rick Nowles, Rachel Chinouriri, and more. Additionally, the Academy partnered with Amazon Music’s +44 Podcast to celebrate 50 years of hip hop.
We re-launched The Ivors Composer Awards as The Ivors Classical Awards, with PRS for Music as the title sponsor and BBC Radio 3 as the broadcast partner. The sell-out ceremony was held at a new venue, the British Film Institute, where the Academy brought together over 400 members of the classical music industry to celebrate outstanding achievements in composing for classical music and sound art. The event also reached classical listeners through a special edition of Radio 3’s New Music Show.
To further support music creators, we launched our first songwriter conference, held a global summit exploring AI in music, and brought back the Media Composer Conference. The Academy also piloted a new service providing one-to-one advice about funding applications, increased the amount of mentoring opportunities available to members, launched a new membership category, Early Career, for students, recent graduates and 18-24 year-olds, and launched a joint membership with The Qube studios.
To celebrate exceptional people from the music industry who create positive change and champion music creators, we marked the tradition of our Gold Badge Awards by launching Ivors Academy Honours. Kevin Brennan MP, Carla Marie Williams, Crispin Hunt and the late Rupert Hine were the first recipients.
We helped nurture emerging creative talent through the talent development programme Inside Track and mentoring programme Writing for Music Education with ABRSM. Our leadership development programmes, Advocacy Accelerator and In The Room, provided opportunities for new and diverse voices to build experience and influence in the music industry.
We have worked with partners to increase awareness and understanding of data as a foundational element to ensure that writers are properly paid and credited. With the Music Publishers’ Association and Intellectual Property Office, we supported PRS to produce the Get Paid Guide to break down the data and steps writers need to know to get paid.
Complimenting WIPO’s educational platform for all creators about IP, CLIP, we worked with the Credits Due campaign to produce a toolkit for music organisations to run events for music creators about credits and data.
As AI reshapes sectors across the economy, we have put concerns from music creators that their work is being used without being used without consent, compensation or credit to create AI-generated music at the forefront of our campaigning and lobbying. With partners, we created a letter of non-consent for writers to send to their publisher to clearly express that they do not consent for their work to be used to train AI models and create derivative works. We were also part of the successful push-back against the UK Government’s proposed exception under copyright law to allow the commercial mining of text and data to train and develop AI models.
We continue to represent music creators in a series of working groups established after the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s report calling for a ‘complete reset’ of streaming focusing on metadata, transparency and remuneration. This year a voluntary industry code on metadata standards has been launched and research on the impact of algorithms on music streaming has been published. The Government is due to publish a code on contract transparency and research into Equitable Remuneration.
Increasing the influence of music creators is central to our lobbying, and the year has ended with songwriter, artist and Academy Board Director VV Brown giving evidence about creator remuneration to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. Board Director Rebecca Ferguson, who was a driving force calling for a body like the newly-established Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, also gave evidence to the Misogyny In Music inquiry.
In 2024, we look forward to celebrating our 80th anniversary and continuing our mission to champion songwriters and composers, support their careers, and advocate for their rights. The Academy plans to host writing camps, conferences, member networking and launch a series of guides and webinars about the essential business knowledge every music creator needs to know. Next year we will also hold elections for our Senate and Board and will announce our new Chief Executive.
We are deeply grateful to all of our members, Board, Senate and Councils, Trustees and staff for their energy and commitment to The Ivors Academy and our community of talented songwriters and composers.
We are thankful to all our partners, particularly our title sponsor for The Ivors, Amazon Music, who amplify and scale our celebration of songwriters globally; our strategic partner PRS for Music who works with us across campaigns, policy, education and events; and our Corporate Partners for supporting our membership community – ABRSM, ICE, Meta, TikTok and YouTube.