After Distributing $400,000 to Songwriters, the Songwriter Fund Is Reopening Applications

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After distributing $400,000 worth of one-time relief payments to songwriters, the SONA- and Sony Music Publishing-backed Songwriter Fund is officially preparing to reopen the application process.

The quick-approaching third round of financial support from the Songwriter Fund, which initially began accepting aid applications in May of 2020 and provided compensation to a second round of songwriters in January of this year, just recently came to light.

At the time of this piece’s writing, higher-ups hadn’t yet specified the application-reopening date on social media or on the Songwriter Fund website (which notes only that the third installment will arrive “soon”). However, multiple outlets have indicated that songwriters will have the chance to apply for this latest round of financial assistance beginning on Wednesday, April 28th.

Assuming that the nearly year-old entity utilizes the same relief application (and maintains the same applicant requirements) this time around, stateside songwriters who are age 18 or older, have written music professionally for at least two years, and have been part of a performing rights organization (PRO) for two years or longer can file to receive aid.

The resulting $1,000 grants, the Songwriter Fund emphasizes in an application-walkthrough video, “MUST be used for critical life expenses,” including food, housing, and/or medical bills, to name some categories. Additionally, applicants are required to disclose their personal info as well as provide a photocopy of their ID, proof of their association with a PRO, proof of their songwriting credits, and more.

Besides securing “a generous donation of resources” from the aforementioned Sony Music Publishing and SONA, the Songwriter Fund has received contributions from Amazon, Spotify, Reservoir Media, Concord, and “many generous individual donors,” according to its website.

Earlier this month, Dr. Luke’s Prescription Songs announced that it would give its songwriters the option of receiving royalty payments in Bitcoin, whereas TikTok one week ago inked multi-year licensing deals with the Johannesburg-based Southern African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO) and the Composers Authors and Publishers Association (CAPASSO).

Also worth noting is that the Songwriter Fund describes itself as “one of only two funds set up to directly care for our songwriting community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic” – with the other presumably being PRS for Music’s Emergency Relief Fund. The UK collection society kicked off 2021 by unveiling a license for small-scale livestream gigs, before walking back the pivot following massive indie backlash.

Separately, “Brown Eyed Girl” singer and songwriter Van Morrison last November launched a “Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund” to support struggling musicians. Said fund was quickly oversubscribed, and its second round of compensation went out in February of 2021.