Radio Starmaker Fund

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Eligibility Requirements

For Artists:

To qualify for funding you must be a Canadian who has attained a track record in your existing career. This means you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant.
  2. You have attained a sales level on a CD in Canada only that satisfies the minimum “Track Record”1 requirement for your genre of music but has never sold more than 150,000 units (Major Labels) or 300,000 units (Indie Labels) (see the “Frequently Asked Questions” section for more information). You may establish this track record from the sales of any previous record released within 5 years of the date you apply or from the sales of a current release.
  3. In order to be eligible for funding, an artist must have begun production on the record for which they are applying prior to submitting their application. This does not refer to pre-production but the actual recording of bed tracks for the release.
  4. You have a current record released which is receiving or will receive a “Significant Investment”.2 A “current record” means that it must have been released in the 12 months previous to the date you apply or scheduled to be released within 4 months following the deadline for the round in which you apply. If you are applying for international marketing funds, the release must be within 6 months of the deadline for the round in which you apply in each relevant territory.
  5. You are signed to a Canadian major label, Canadian owned independent record label or you own your record and you either release it on your own or license it to a Canadian company. All of the details regarding your recording contract must be in place by the application deadline in order for the Board of Directors to consider an application. Please Note: You do not qualify for funding if the royalties and revenues from the Canadian sales of your records flow directly to a corporation outside of Canada. You must receive your royalties from Canadian sales directly through a Canadian company.
  6. Please note: If you own your master and distribute your record through a distributor (or major label) or release your record on your own, the Radio Starmaker Fund considers you to be an independent artist. If you own your master and license your record to a major label or you are signed directly to a major label, the Radio Starmaker Fund considers you to be a major label artist.

You may wish to have your record label, manager or other representative fill out this application on your behalf, however, you will be required to sign any funding agreement and warrant the accuracy of all the material contained in it. You will also be held responsible for all grant money received and spent on your behalf, therefore we encourage you to actively participate in this initiative to ensure that the money is properly spent in your best interests.

For Labels:

As the record label, it is anticipated that you will create the majority of this application. You are responsible and accountable to establish and document the “Significant Investment” (see below note 2) and the Funding Initiatives (see Funding Rules section). The domestic and international touring applications should be filled out by the artists and/or their managers. Please be advised that as a condition of this funding you will be required to sign an agreement allowing the Fund to enter your business premises and conduct full audits of your books and records during regular business hours to ensure the integrity of the funding and the accuracy of accounting. The Significant Investment is established by:

  1. All non-recoupable marketing spending (this must be fully detailed)
  2. Any non-recoupable portion of music videos capped at an allowance of $35,000 per music video as a qualified contribution to “Significant Investment”. Please make sure to include the date the music video was shot and the fact the significant investment you enter is non-recoupable, should you choose to include music video as a Significant Investment. The maximum amount the Radio Starmaker Fund will acknowledge in Significant Investment for music videos in conjunction with a release will be a total of $100,000.

    Footage shot for any use outside of a formal music video which will be sent to the music channels should be included in the Digital Marketing category on the investment side. As always, we will not fund any music videos. Formal music videos can continue to be included in the “Other” category as Significant Investment.
  3. The minimum required investment is different for major labels and indie labels and varies based on genre (see Note 2 for levels in all genres)
  4. No tour support or creative/production costs associated with your release shall qualify as “Significant Investment” (see the “Frequently Asked Questions” section for additional items that do not qualify as “Significant Investment”), although the Radio Starmaker Fund will consider the costs associated with the production of DVD value add-ons capped at $15,000 per project

Once the Significant Investment has been established, you will be entitled to apply for grant funding for additional marketing initiatives up until 8 months after each round’s application deadline. These include:

  • Advertising (radio, print, television)
  • Promotions (contests, postering, retail promotions)
  • Independent Publicist’s Fees/Independent Radio Promoter’s Fees (3rd party contracts only)
  • Digital Marketing (epk’s, internet advertising, website design, etc). Digital Marketing is capped at $50,000 in funding per release. Website Design is included in this category and is capped at $25,000 in funding per release.
  • Facebook advertising will be considered as both significant investment or funding requests in our marketing applications, although only when purchased by an established 3rd party media buying company. Applicants must identify their 3rd party media buying company as the vendor in their application. There will be no specific cap for Facebook advertising as either Significant Investment or as a Funding Request in a Domestic Marketing application.

Note: Priority for funding will be given to initiatives taking place within 3 to 4 months from the application deadline, although requests for funding can be made up until 8 months after the application deadline. All approved funding must be spent no later than 8 months after each round’s application deadline. Requests to change approved funding that are made in the last 2 months of the spending period will not be considered outside of extraordinary circumstances.

For touring related funding support, please refer to the separate touring applications.

  1. Track Record - Unit Level requirements per record according to Genre

    1. 12,000 units (pop/rock) (Major labels)
        7,500 units (pop/rock) (Indie labels)
    2. 7,500 units (urban/country/electronica/heavy metal) (Major labels)
      5,000 units (urban/country/electronica/heavy metal) (Indie labels)
    3. 5,000 units (folk) (Major labels)
      3,500 units (folk) (Indie labels)
    4. 2,500 units (world/jazz/classical/blues/Aboriginal artists) (Major/Indie labels)

    Maximum units per record for all genres:

    • 150,000 (Major Labels)
    • 300,000 (Indie Labels)

    Unit level requirements must be met for a release from the last five years. Sales levels are determined on records sold in Canada only. Sales levels will be determined on “net sales” in Canada excluding exports and record club sales. This can include records sold offstage and through direct mail in Canada. Please note: “net sales” is defined as number of records shipped, net of returns.

    The RSF allows the sale of digital downloads of full albums and full condensed format releases to go toward meeting our net sales thresholds. A condensed format release is defined as having at least 20 minutes of music and at least 5 songs. Downloads of single tracks from these releases will also be allowed in meeting the net sales thresholds. Five single track downloads from a full album or condensed format release would constitute one sale toward the achievement of the minimum sales threshold under the eligibility requirements.

    Should Soundscan indicate the applicant has reached but not exceeded the eligibility requirement for net sales, then it is not necessary to forward net sales reports to us. Should Soundscan not indicate the net sales requirement has been met, then Canadian net sales reports indicating the title’s total Canadian shipments minus any returns must be submitted to us by the application deadline proving sales eligibility for an application to be considered. They can take the form of a concise print-out on the distributor’s letterhead or a letter from the distributor on their letterhead. Manufacturing sheets will be accepted in specific situations but that needs to be cleared with us first, otherwise the Canadian net sales report is what we need to see for the application to be considered. Canadian net sales reports are necessary for the title which you have applied for in the application if it has already been shipped. If the qualifying title that meets our net sales minimum is not the title for which you are applying, you must also send a Canadian net sales report from the distributor of the title from the last five years which meets our net sales criteria in the artist’s respective genre. Documents sent in previous rounds will not be accepted. We need to see updated information.

  2. Criteria to Establish Significant Investment

    Minimum major label spending required to establish a “Significant Investment”:

    1. $25,000 (pop/rock)
    2. $15,000 (urban/country/electronica/heavy metal)
    3. $10,000 (folk)
    4. $5,000 (world/blues/jazz/classical/Aboriginal artists)

    Minimum indie label or independent artist spending required to establish “Significant Investment”:

    1. $15,000 (pop/rock)
    2. $10,000 (urban/country/electronica/heavy metal)
    3. $7,000 (folk)
    4. $5,000 (world/blues/jazz/classical/Aboriginal artists)

    There is no minimum Significant Investment amount necessary for subsequent applications after an initial Domestic Marketing approval for a release.

    The Significant Investment is a crucial element to the application process. It will be used to determine the level of grant funding you will be eligible to receive. For major label releases the funding may be matched up to a maximum of 100% of the investment. For independent labels the funding may be matched up to a maximum of 200% of the investment. The investments must be true out of pocket, non-recoupable, 3rd party spending. You will not be permitted to use FACTOR funding or money from any other funding source as a component of your Significant Investment. You also may not receive funding reimbursement for any expense for which you have already been reimbursed from another funding source. All RSF tour approvals must be declared to FACTOR as income if you’re applying for the same appearances.

    The Radio Starmaker Fund and FACTOR have established a policy of information exchange and invoice recognition to avoid any “double-dipping”. All Radio Starmaker funding initiatives must be 100% funded by the RSF. None of your funding initiatives can be funded in whole or in part by another funding organization. If any portion of an individual invoice has been previously recognized by any other funding organization, the expense will not be considered by the RSF. Also, any costs associated with the creation and production of your record (i.e. recording costs, CD/DVD manufacturing, artwork, etc.) cannot be included in your Significant Investment.

    Applicants will be given 1 week from the date they are advised their application has been approved to lower their Significant Investment to a level so that independent label applicants can reach a 2:1 Funding Request to Significant Investment ratio and major label applicants can reach a 1:1 Funding Request to Significant Investment ratio. Here is a specific example. If an independent label applicant indicates they will spend $90,000 in Significant Investment they could potentially be approved for up to $180,000 in RSF funding. If this applicant is only approved for $80,000 in funding, they will have 1 week from the time they are notified the application has been approved to lower their required Significant Investment to $40,000 to reach the 2:1 ratio. No new Significant Investment can be introduced - only the existing Significant Investment can be lowered. Major label applicants would have the same 1 week to bring the Significant Investment down to $80,000. If the new lower Significant Investment request isn’t received within 1 week, it will be assigned to the applicant on their behalf. The minimum Significant Investment levels based on genre and type of release (independent or major) will still be required in order to be eligible to receive RSF funding. Significant Investment can not be lowered to a point below the minimum requirements.

    The Board of Directors of the Radio Starmaker Fund shall make the final determination on all funding requests and their decision is final and binding and not subject to review or appeal. The criteria used by the Board shall be comprised of a number of factors including the track record of the artist, the amount of investment being made by the label, the marketing plan and the resources available to the Fund in that period. There will be no jury process that considers the artistic or commercial merit of the music, however, we ask that you submit a sample of music (MP3 or WAV file) as part of your application for context.

    The Fund recognizes that artist development occurs in phases and we will therefore allow each project to receive funding for domestic marketing up to four times for each individual record released within a two year time period. You may wish to apply only for the portion of funding required for the first phase of your marketing plan; do not feel that you must outline an entire 18 month marketing campaign. The Board will meet four times a year and allocate money in each calendar quarter.

    Please see the “Frequently Asked Questions” section for additional information in regards to eligibility requirements.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters and Canada's private radio broadcasters...
sole contributor and proud founding member of the Radio Starmaker Fund