Radio Starmaker Fund

Have Questions? Contact Us

This is our legacy site dedicated to managing claims from pre-April 2024 rounds.

Use this site only for claims on applications from Rounds 87, 88, 89, and 90.

For new applications and more info, please visit our new website at

Home » About the Radio Starmaker Fund » Eligibility Requirements

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 100,000 units (Major Labels) or 150,000 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 the last 5 years or from the sales of a current record.
  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. For Domestic Marketing applications, 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 deadline for the round in which you apply or released within 6 months following the deadline for the round in which you apply. If you do not meet these requirements you will be asked to reapply and return any funding you have already received. Any funding you have been approved for will be reallocated back into the Fund and will no longer be available to you.
  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 process 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 a Domestic Marketing 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. Non-recoupable marketing spends made in Canada. Digital marketing/advertising companies you use for domestic marketing applications can be located anywhere in the world but the actual initiatives you use them for must take place in Canada.
  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 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
  • Digital Marketing (epk’s, internet advertising, website design, etc). Website Design is included in this category and is capped at $25,000 in funding per release.
  • You may include direct monthly or flat fee charges from your distributor should you hire them to work your project to the press and/or radio. You may also use your distributor for digital marketing campaigns including Facebook. These initiatives will be considered as both significant investment or funding requests in our domestic marketing applications or as funding requests in our international marketing applications. These can only be accepted should you be invoiced for this work. They cannot be accepted if the fee is paid to your distributor as a percentage of sales.
  • Facebook advertising will be considered as both significant investment or funding requests in our marketing applications. There will be no specific cap for Facebook advertising in a Domestic Marketing application.

Note: 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. 7,500 units (pop/rock/hip-hop/r&b/country) (Major labels)
      5,000 units (pop/rock/hip-hop/r&b/country) (Indie labels)
    2. 5,000 units (folk/electronica) (Major labels)
      3,500 units (folk/electronica) (Indie labels)
    3. 2,000 units (global/jazz/classical/blues/Aboriginal artists) (Major/Indie labels)

    Maximum units per record for all genres:

    • 100,000 (Major Labels)
    • 150,000 (Indie Labels)

    Unit level requirements must be met by one eligible release from the artist within the last five years. Sales levels are determined on records sold in Canada only - you can not include sales from outside of Canada. Sales levels will be determined on “net sales” in Canada excluding exports. 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-length releases or bundles, as well as physical releases to go toward meeting our net sales thresholds. A full-length release contains at least 6 unique studio recordings – not including acoustic re-recordings, remixes, versions, etc. – and at least 25 minutes of music. A bundle contains at least 3 unique studio recordings that were made available no later than a year before the release of the bundle itself – not including acoustic re-recordings, remixes, versions, etc. – and at least 9 minutes of music. Downloads of single tracks sold from titles released within the last five years will also be allowed in meeting the net sales thresholds. Five single track downloads from a full-length release or bundle will constitute one sale toward the achievement of the minimum sales threshold under the eligibility requirements. Canadian streams of single tracks from titles released within the last five years will also be allowed in meeting the net sales thresholds. 750 single track streams from a full-length release or bundle will constitute one sale toward the achievement of the minimum sales threshold under the eligibility requirements. The tracks must appear on the actual release – not remixes or versions of songs which don’t appear on the actual release. Only downloads and streams shown on Soundscan/Music Connect Canada will be counted.

    We will allow the inclusion of deluxe editions of a release in the count towards sales eligibility as long as there are at least 3 additional songs added to the original version of the release (remixes or versions of existing tracks are fine). If the applicant has already applied for the regular version of the release, they should not add the deluxe version into the system but you can include any sales or streams from the deluxe version should you re-apply under the original title. You will need to discuss the deluxe edition in the text of any new applications. In that case, the release date will stay the same as the original version and we will stick with the same cap of 4 domestic marketing applications max over a 2 year period from the original release date. If there were no applications submitted for the regular version of the release, then the release date for the deluxe version is what applicants should use as it will be the first release under which you apply for the title. You can include sales/streams from the previously released regular version when adding the deluxe edition into the system. All other rules around international marketing applications and touring applications will remain the same with the inclusion of a deluxe edition.

    Should Soundscan/Music Connect Canada 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/Music Connect Canada not indicate the net sales requirement has been met, then a Canadian net sales report indicating the title’s total Canadian shipments minus any returns must be submitted to us proving sales eligibility by the application deadline, in order for an application to be considered. The sooner this information can be received and subsequently approved – the better. The information can be sent via email/jpeg. It can take the form of a concise print-out from the distributor’s computer system on the distributor’s letterhead or via a letter from the distributor on their letterhead. It must show the name of the artist, title, date of release and must use the words “Canadian net sales” and the corresponding figure. Excel spreadsheets cannot be accepted. 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 for this artist 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 always need to see updated information.

    Please note: any artist that is new to the fund or is re-establishing sales eligibility must receive written approval of sales eligibility from Jerry Leibowitz no later than 1 week before the deadline for any round. That means that all proof of eligibility for artists must be provided significantly in advance of 1 week before the deadline so that all the material can be reviewed and further information provided if necessary before that 1 week advance period elapses.

  2. Criteria to Establish Significant Investment

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

    1. $15,000 (pop/rock/hip-hop/r&b/country)
    2. $10,000 (folk/electronica)
    3. $5,000 (global/blues/jazz/classical/Aboriginal artists)

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

    1. $10,000 (pop/rock/hip-hop/r&b/country)
    2. $7,000 (folk/electronica)
    3. $5,000 (global/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. Funding amounts for bundles are capped at $20,000 for domestic marketing applications and $5,000 to $10,000 for international marketing applications depending on the territory. The investments must be true out of pocket, non-recoupable, 3rd party spending. You will not be permitted to use FACTOR funding as a component of your Significant Investment. You also may not receive funding reimbursement for any marketing 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 for marketing initiatives must be 100% funded by the RSF. None of your funding initiatives in a marketing application 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 $30,000 in Significant Investment they could potentially be approved for up to $60,000 in RSF funding. If this applicant is only approved for $40,000 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 $20,000 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 $40,000. 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