MMF and YouTube open applications for Accelerator Programme 2020

MMF and YouTube open applications for Accelerator Programme 2020

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and YouTube Music have opened applications for the Accelerator Programme for music managers. Upcoming music managers are being urged to apply for the funding and education initiative that offers grants of up to £15,000 per annum. 

The programme is open to managers in full or part-time employment who are looking to make the leap into full-time music management with their own company. Successful applicants will benefit from over 100 hours of professional mentoring, training and masterclasses, covering all aspects of the music business. 

In our September MMF cover feature, MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick spoke about the inception of the programme.

“Fiona [McGugan, director of strategy and policy, MMF] was increasingly talking to managers whose artists were doing really well and yet, they still weren’t able to go full time as a manager, partly because the big deals and the big advances aren’t there," said Coldrickl. "So they were still working doing other jobs at the same time. We partnered with YouTube Music, the Arts Council England and the Scottish Music Industry Associations to provide a grant fund and also an education programme, a support programme, for 24 managers. We had 130 applications and they had to do a five minute video. We watched them all, some of them had made these massively well-produced ones, and one of them had hidden in a cupboard at work – he was brilliant! It was really hard to narrow it down but we did end up getting 24 managers funded and it’s really incredible. We thought a lot of it would be, ‘OK, they want the money, and the education and training they might find useful’, but I think what a lot of them have found useful was a network with each other.”

The programme is backed by Arts Council England (ACE), Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industries Association (SMIA). 2020’s participants will also receive a travel bursary to attend a professional music conference in Europe. 

The first round of applications closes at midnight on Friday October 25. 

Full details can be found at 

At a launch event held last night (October 14) at London’s YouTube Space, the MMF revealed new data highlighting the Accelerator’s impact to date. 

 You can read a breakdown of the data below:

  • Since January 2019, the 24 Accelerator participants have increased the number of artist/writer/producer clients they represent by over 20% - from 44 to 54. These clients include Stardom, Shabaka Hutchings, Ider, Lyra, Murkage Dave, Guy Sigsworth, Cara Rose and Be Charlotte.

  • The programme aims to support managers from across the UK. Beyond London and the South East, current Accelerator participants are based in Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham. 2020’s programme will include a series of regional ACE-supported introductory workshops for grassroots managers. 

  • The benefits of the programme have been felt by Accelerator manager artists' across the board, with streams and sales increasing across the range of services. Analysis from YouTube Music shows that the creators represented by Accelerator managers saw a collective 51% increase in watch time since the start of the programme and Shakka (managed by Nike Durosaro) celebrated reaching 100K YouTube subscribers in August 2019. 

  • Accelerator managers have been provided significant opportunities to develop and enhance their businesses - with 5 participating in the BPI/MPA/DIT LA Sync Mission, and others attending industry conferences including Amsterdam Dance Event, shesaidso’s MEETsss, the European Jazz Conference and The Great Escape. Artists and writers represented by Accelerator managers have signed record and publishing deals, embarked on major tours, and scored syncs with brands including Virgin Media and Levi’s.

Speaking about how the programme helped her, Lorretta Andrews of Safe Music Management (Guvna B, Joshua Luke Smith, Bianca Rose) said: “The Accelerator programme has been a turning point in my career as an artist manager, giving me the funds, space and time to pursue my goals. It’s also given me the confidence I needed to move to the next level. I’ve gained invaluable training from experts in live, recorded, publishing, brands and accountancy and made some great contacts through the programme. Making friends in the same industry as me, who understand the unique lifestyle and pressures that come with being an artist manager, is invaluable.” 

Subscribers can read Music Week’s MMF cover feature here.

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