The purpose of this page is to provide IMRO members with regularly updated information and advice regarding Covid-19.
We fully appreciate that this is a difficult and worrying time for you right now. Many of IMRO’s members are self-employed freelancers and small businesses who are reliant on the income that they receive from music licensing. Please be assured that IMRO is doing everything within its power to protect revenue streams for members and affiliates over the coming weeks and months.
Our monthly distribution schedule has been maintained since the start of this crisis. Royalty payments to our members and affiliates continue to be our top priority. We expedited the IMRO radio distribution to a monthly payment schedule with effect from the April 2020 distribution.
IMRO Member Helpdesk: E: ei.ormi@troppus91divoc P: +353 1 6614844
IMRO Member Helpdesk
Music Industry Support
Mental Health Support
Members in Northern Ireland & UK
Making the most of your IMRO Membership
Live Streaming Resources
Studio & Musical Instrument Care
Online Seminars & Workshops
The entire creative community in Ireland is experiencing an unprecedented level of upheaval right now. Be assured that IMRO is here to help you navigate through these very challenging times.
IMRO Member FAQs
Will I continue to receive IMRO royalties during this crisis?
My main source of income was from performing, which I cannot do at the moment. What should I do?
You may be able to apply for the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. If you are an employer who can show that you have lost at least 25 percent of your trade – you may be able to claim 70 percent of your employees’ net wage back (up to a maximum of €410). If you avail of this subsidy, the government is encouraging you to top-up your employees’ wages to maintain them at their current level of earnings. Please see the detailed guidance from the Revenue Commissioners.
If you are self-employed you should apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and were working up to or after March 13.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for the emergency Covid-19 payment is by applying online at www.mywelfare.ie – All you need is your email to set up a basic MyGovID account which then allows you to apply online.
I was paid in advance for a performance that did not go ahead – can I spend the money?
This will depend on your performance contract. Depending on what your cancellation clauses say in your contract, you may not be able to spend this money as you may need to return it. If you have a ‘pay or play’ contract, you may be able to keep the payment.
I have spent money on a tour/gig that cannot now go ahead – what can I do?
This will depend on your situation.
If you have insurance to cover cancelled performances, you may be able to make a claim. You should check with your insurer immediately.
You should review your performance contracts as you may be entitled to recoup any amounts paid.
If the payments were made for services that were not carried out/goods not delivered, you should seek the return of these payments (this may be dependent on your contract). Your bank may be able to assist you in having payments returned.
International Touring updates and Advice from European Music Exporters Exchange is available at https://www.europeanmusic.eu/
Is there anything I can do about expenses on cancelled travel?
You may be in a position to claim the cost of your cancelled flights and / or accommodation under travel insurance. You should check with your insurer immediately.
Can I stop paying my rent during this crisis?
There is no freeze on rent payments and rent will need to continue to be paid – but we encourage all of our members renting to contact their landlords and explain your situation and try to negotiate a payment freeze until this crisis is over.
Rent Supplement is available as a short-term income support to those in the private rented sector who are finding it difficult to pay their rent. As many people in the private rented sector have lost significant employment income, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will use the full flexibility of the scheme to provide the necessary support.
Legislation is being passed in the Dáil which would enact a blanket ban on tenancy terminations and rent increases, to ensure people can stay in their homes during this period, as well as an extension of the notice period for tenancies of less than six months from 28 to 90 days.
If your tenancy is at risk or impacted in any way as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact Threshold at 1800 454 454.
I am worried about being able to afford to pay my bills – what should I do?
If you are unable to pay your bills, for essentials such as gas, electricity, broadband etc, we strongly encourage you to contact your service provider and ask for a temporary payment freeze to give you some breathing space.
I can’t afford to pay back my loans right now – will this affect my credit rating?
If you are struggling to pay back loans right now, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with your lender and to explain your situation and to ask for a temporary payment freeze. This way you won’t be missing payments – missed payments may affect your credit rating.
Other than seeking funding or State Aid, is there anything else I can do for my business right now?
We encourage our members to reach out to people online. Many performers streaming live performances with great success.
Members should also try to encourage people to buy and stream their music.
Now is also a great time to catch up on your business admin, especially in relation to your IMRO set-lists, etc.
Microenterprises can access COVID-19 loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 6.8% and 7.8%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at www.microfinanceireland.ie – Eligibility criteria apply.
Enterprise Ireland has a number of supports available to help businesses mitigate the impact of Covid-19: https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/about-us/services/covid-19/
If you have further questions, that are not covered above, please contact the IMRO Member Covid-19 Support Desk at ei.ormi@troppus91divoc or 353 1 6614844
Please follow all government advice regarding social distancing. Self isolate and contact your GP by phone if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.
Gov.ie | Updated regularly https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/472f64-covid-19-coronavirus-guidance-and-advice/
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has established a helpline to assist those working in the cultural sector and so for any outstanding queries, email directly at ei.vog.ghc@tinustra with your question, and include a phone number for a callback.
Department of Foreign Affairs | https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/
A fund to support Irish music creators has been set up by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and First Music Contact (FMC), who will administer the fund. In addition to the financial contributions by IMRO and IRMA, Spotify is making a donation and is also matching donations made to the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund via its Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief page, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million for the collective verified organizations worldwide: https://www.imro.ie/featured-article/irish-music-industry-covid-19-emergency-relief-fund-launched/ | Please note this fund is currently closed to new applicants at this time.
In addition to this, as we are aware that songwriters, composers and publishers have experienced severe financial distress during the current pandemic, we have given our licensee customers the option to offer support by opting to not claim their IMRO COVID-19 credit note. IMRO will ensure that this contribution is distributed directly to you, our valued Members.
The Arts Council bursary supports professional artists at any stage of their career, providing them with the resources and time to engage with their art. The maximum bursary amount was increased by the Arts Council to €20,000 for the award, due to the impact of the pandemic on the sector. The deadline for the next round of bursary applications is 28 January 2021. See full details on applying at www.artscouncil.ie/funding/
The Arts Council has also announced an upcoming open call for a ten-day series of arts events titled ‘The Grand Stretch’. Taking place from 11 – 20 June 2021, the Grand Stretch will present a major programme of events across all art forms throughout the country, with a focus on public performance or interaction.
Described as ‘a unique artistic response to a unique chapter in our history’, the open call will seek ambitious arts projects. All events curated as part of the programme will be selected through the open call process, which opens on the 11 January with a deadline of 8 February. A total of €1 million is available for a total of twenty projects. For more information on the Grand Stretch, visit: https://thegrandstretch.com/
i-Portunus is the European Commission’s mobility funding strand to support the cultural and creative sectors across Europe. As a legacy from 2020 there will be four targeted calls in the first quarter of 2021.
The music call is now open for applications and the deadline is 28 February 2021 at 5pm. This call is open to composers, musicians and singers (preferably in classical music, jazz and traditional music). The award supports international collaborations, production oriented residencies and professional development for artists.
The award is open to both individuals and groups of up to 5 people. The maximum available grant per person is €3,000. The mobility activities can last between 7 and 60 days and can begin from 1 June 2021 and must be completed by 30 November 2021. Please find further information on this opportunity, here: https://www.i-portunus.eu/about-the-programme/call-for-applications/call-for-applications-music/
The Arts Council has announced a €1 million fund to enable artists to make new and original art during the COVID-19 crisis. The scheme, called the Arts Council COVID-19 Crisis Response Award, is designed to support the creation of new artistic work and its dissemination online for the public benefit: http://www.artscouncil.ie/COVID-19/ | Please note this fund is currently closed to new applicants at this time.
Culture Ireland and FACEBOOK Ireland announces details of their Ireland Performs Fund: https://www.imro.ie/industry-news/culture-ireland-and-facebook-ireland-announces-details-of-ireland-performs/ | Please note this fund is currently closed to new applicants at this time.
Global Relief Fund For Live Music Sector| Live Nation has committed $10 million to Crew Nation – contributing an initial $5 million to the fund, then matching the next $5 million given by artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar: https://www.livenationentertainment.com/crewnation/
Artist Emergency Relief Fund | The Civic Theatre will undertake another round of fundraising in order to support more artists: https://www.civictheatre.ie/
First Music Contact | FMC are hosting a survey for those employed in the live sector to evaluate the loss of income to the sector: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HBTCJTC
SoundCloud has committed $15m to support creators: $5m in ‘free promotional support’ to drive more streams on their platform. Five artists a week who include the hashtag #GetMorePlays on their uploads will be chosen to benefit. The remaining $10m has been allocated to an ‘artist accelerator program’ for independent artists: https://blog.soundcloud.com/2020/04/02/an-update-from-kerry-soundcloud-ceo/
International Touring updates and Advice from European Music Exporters Exchange | https://www.europeanmusic.eu/
Bandcamp Fridays: On the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp waive their revenue share for all sales made through the platform. | https://daily.bandcamp.com/features/update-on-bandcamp-fridays
Night-Time Economy Taskforce: Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht has announced the establishment of a new Taskforce which will see a range of Departments, Agencies and groups working together to promote and develop a vibrant and sustainable night-time culture and economy | https://www.imro.ie/industry-news/minister-martin-announces-establishment-of-new-night-time-economy-taskforce/
For an up-to-date list of further funding opportunities and deadlines, please visit The Journal of Music at: https://journalofmusic.com/listings/opportunities?term_node_tid_depth=5319
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19.
Dedicated contact email address for music creators: ei.eraflew@pupstsitra
COVID-19: How to Apply for the Government’s Emergency Unemployment Payment
The government has announced that a new emergency payment scheme has been put in place for employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Self-employed artists who have lost upcoming employment due to the event cancellations can apply for this scheme.
The government has made the decision to increase the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment from €203 to €350 per week.
If you are already in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment you will receive the increase payment on your next payment date.
You can apply in the following ways:
1. Download the application form for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment from this link and return to FREEPOST, PO BOX 12896, Dublin 1; or
2. Apply for Jobseeker’s support through the online portal www.mywelfare.ie (you will need a Public Services Card); or
3. Phone 1890-800 024 or 01-2481398 and you will be sent the relevant application form for the new payment.
Microenterprises can access COVID-19 loans of up to €50,000 from MicroFinance Ireland. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 6.8% and 7.8%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at microfinanceireland.ie. Eligibility criteria apply. Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 Business Loan FAQs
Enterprise Ireland has a number of supports available to help businesses mitigate the impact of Covid-19: https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/about-us/services/covid-19/
Revenue | The following information, guidance and advice is available to assist taxpayers, and their agents, experiencing a range of difficulties caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 virus: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/covid19/index.aspx
In a first of its kind for Ireland’s creative sector, Minding Creative Minds (MCM), a free 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Music Sector, delivered by Spectrum Life, was launched this week.
The initial phase of Minding Creative Minds, a free 24/7 Wellbeing and support programme goes live for musicians, songwriters, artist managers and event production crew. MCM is a Mental Wellbeing Support Programme and includes access to the following wellbeing services:
- 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line (Phone 1800 814 244) (Calling from NI – 0800 0903677)
- Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions)
- Telephone Counselling
- Secure Video Counselling
- Extensive Web Portal & App enabling live chat function with a counsellor
In addition to the mental health support system offered, Minding Creative Minds looks at the whole individual resulting in the programme also offering access to a number of additional services structured to help users with various issues they may face such as:
- Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress
- Legal assistance for a range of issues
- Financial assistance and consumer advice
- Career guidance and life coaching
- Support for non-Irish nationals and their families
- Mediation for conflict resolution
For further details visit: http://mindingcreativeminds.ie/
Need help now? If you or someone you know needs help urgently, please contact:
Pieta House: 1800 247 247
SAMARITANS: 116 123 (ROI & UK)
Messaging Support Service
A new mental health messaging support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides in-the-moment anonymous support when you need it most. This service aims to connect you with a trained volunteer in less than 5 minutes. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next step to feeling better.
Text YMH to 086 1800 280 (Standard SMS rates may apply)
A Lust for Life – For tips on money management, psychological survival and staying calm during COVID-19: https://www.alustforlife.com/
HSE advice on managing your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
Music distributor Record Union has launched The Wellness Starter Pack: a toolbox for wellbeing, created with music makers in mind. In a collection of videos and articles, industry experts explore the impact that sleep, nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and positivity have on artists’ mental health, along with actionable steps forward. www.thewellnessstarterpack.com
Given the particular difficulties that the creative community might be facing at this time in relation to mental health, We asked Bressie if he would do a special video introduction to his ‘Where is My Mind’ podcast series for our members.
Team Mental Health
Team Mental Health is a specialist organisation dedicated to delivering an expert led, whole organisation approach to mental health and wellbeing. Through online and face to face mental health awareness training, online resources, consultation and the delivery of bespoke mental health strategies we empower individuals and organisations to thrive.
- UK Music Coronavirus Advice https://www.ukmusic.org/help-and-advice/uk-music-statement-on-coronavirus-and-the-music-industry/
- Help Musician UK www.helpmusicians.org.uk/news/latest-news/advice-relating-to-coronavirus-covid-19
- Creative Industries Federation https://www.creativeindustriesfederation.com/
- Music Minds Matter
- Music Support
This is a very challenging time for those working in creative industries worldwide. As the loss of touring revenue will be felt greatly, it is vital that artists continue to communicate with their fans in alternative ways and that fans continue to support performers.
- Broadcast and online royalties will be important during this time, music fans should make an effort to request their favourite Irish artists across radio/TV stations.
- Buying merchandise will help artists. Those who have had tours cancelled are likely to have ordered t-shirts etc to sell at gigs. Artists, ensure your fans know where they can buy your merch.
- Online streamed performances are a good way of connecting with existing fans, and creating new ones. It could also be an opportunity to collaborate with fellow performers remotely.
- Host live Q&As on your social channels, be sure to redirect viewers to where they can purchase your releases or merchandise.
- Think outside the box. Have an unusual idea how to connect with fans? Now is the perfect time to give it a go.
During this period of social distancing, restricted live performance opportunities and curtailed audio/video production, now is an ideal opportunity for you to ensure that you are doing everything possible to maximise your membership of IMRO. Providing IMRO with as much detail as possible in relation to all your live performances and music usage in film and TV productions will greatly assist us in tracking your royalties in the most efficient way possible. We have provided some useful information below.
Music Used in Audio Visual Productions
Why does IMRO request notifications of audio visual productions along with corresponding cue sheets?
- Notifications of audio-visual productions in which your music has been used and the corresponding details of your musical works will be sent by IMRO to our sister societies promptly to ensure accurate and timely distribution of royalties where qualifying performances have taken place.
- Cue sheets form the basis of audio visual documentation both domestically and internationally. International collecting societies request cue sheets as the first step in documenting musical works for the purpose of distributing associated royalties. IMRO posts cue sheets to an international database which is accessed by our sister societies. IMRO provides cue sheets promptly, once they are available, in order to secure royalties as soon as possible.
Submitted cue sheets should be the complete and final cue sheets containing all music used in the production. The cue sheet information identifies the musical works used in the first instance with the corresponding musical works registrations determining how the royalties should be distributed.
IMRO receives cue sheets from various sources and members are encouraged to provide cue sheets for productions in which their music has been commissioned or included.
A full music cue sheet can be obtained from the production company. The complete cue sheet should include all music used in the production, the composer information, and publishers details where published, the music duration and the usage of each cue i.e. featured, background, opening and closing theme etc. To support the cue sheet documentation all musical works used in the production must be registered in full to ensure that royalties can be distributed. Members are encouraged to notify IMRO of a productions release, along with the territories where the production is to be released, if known, so that IMRO can notify the societies in the relevant territories and track the due royalties on behalf of our members.
Music Used in Commercials
If your music has been commissioned or included in a commercial/advertising campaign, then IMRO encourages you to provide us with the relevant details to assist in the distribution of royalties for qualifying performances. This is particularly valuable in terms of advertising campaigns that are exploited internationally, either through mainstream television or radio or via online video on demand or streaming platforms. This information assists IMRO in the tracking of commercial performances overseas to ensure qualifying royalties are distributed accurately and promptly.
Once a commercial has been finalised, you should complete the following steps:
- Register the musical work(s) used in the commercial with IMRO via the online member portal.
- Include the following supporting information from the advertising agency or production company when registering the work(s):
- Product and campaign title (with alternative titles if relevant)
- Dates of transmission – this should include the start date and, if applicable, the end date of the campaign (a media schedule would be of benefit here)
- Expected platforms of transmission – TV, radio and/or online campaign
- Relevant territories of exploitation (these may be included in the media schedule
- The stations/services featuring the campaign (these may be included in the media schedule)
- Any associated identifiers for the adverts e.g. clock number, advertising codes etc.
Please note, if the work(s) are already registered with IMRO you can add this additional information to the work details online.
If you have any queries in relation to submitting work details for audio visual productions or commercials please email ei.ormi@snoitubirtsid
IMRO Unmatched Performances and Commercials Databases Explained
IMRO’s process for matching performances to works is largely a computer automated one and there are several reasons why member’s works may appear in the IMRO Unmatched Performances or Unmatched Commercials Databases.
These usually are:
- Work not registered at the time of matching
- Title incorrectly spelt
- Songwriter/composer name incorrectly spelt
- Songwriter/composer name not given
- Artist name incorrectly given as composer/songwriter name
Any works that fall into an unmatched category after each distribution are placed in the IMRO Unmatched Performances or Unmatched Commercials Databases.
These databases are made available online to members and other affiliated societies to research to enable them to identify works belonging to them and collect any royalties due.
Members can access these databases through the IMRO Member Portal. This easy-to-use interface enables Members to claim performances as theirs by linking them to musical works in their repertoire (providing, of course, that the works have already been registered correctly with IMRO).
If you have yet to register for online access we would encourage you to do so now at https://members.imro.ie/ and avail of the many benefits.
- The ability to access your current repertoire details, as registered with IMRO.
- The online Works Registration facility where Members can register works directly online.
- A facility to register your Live Performances, both national and international. We encourage you to supply details of these performances on a regular basis.
- Your Distribution Statements are available online allowing you to see more detail regarding performances of your works.
IMRO Gig Submissions App
The IMRO App enables you to register your gigs and set lists on-the-go in an efficient and easy way thereby speeding up the process of claiming royalties for your live performances.
- Manage all your live performances notifications, including setlists and gig dates.
- Locate venue details using GPS functionality.
- Search your works catalogue for information on songs you have registered with IMRO.
- Detailed FAQs on all functions.
- Gig submission date deadline notification.
Cherie Hu has shared some very insightful and useful tips around live streaming here.
Facebook have shared information around keeping people safe and informed about COVID-19 as well as a resource for live music broadcast best practises: Facebook and Instagram.
IMRO members Marion McEvoy, Owner/Engineer from Panchord Studio Dublin and multi award winning songwriter, performer and producer Phil Coulter share advice and tips on keeping your studio environment and musical equipment Covid-19 virus free.
Now is as good a time as ever to use your newfound downtime to hone your creative skills, enhance your music industry knowledge and improve your online networking channels.
- Fender are offering 50% off their guitar, bass and uke lessons annual plan. This includes a 14-day free trial. Some members may be interested in learning a new instrument | https://try.fender.com/play/playthrough/
- The Ivors Academy and Nainita Desai have launched The Remote Recording Directory, a free and open database aiming to connect composers for film, TV and games with professional musicians who can record from home.
- Irish Music Industry Podcast – Providing a vital insight into the music industry featuring Ireland’s top music industry professionals – check out the latest episodes here: timi.ie – supported by IMRO
- Music Ally has launched a brand new Learning Hub for the music industry, with more than 30 modules of certified video content at launch, combined with relevant supporting materials from the rest of Music Ally’s information and insight | https://musically.com/learn/
- Sound Training Online Courses | https://soundtraining.com/online/courses/
- The Soundfly model is built on the concept of active learning — the idea that we learn best by doing. Their courses (FREE and Subscription) are designed to get you putting lessons into practice every week, with feedback, accountability, and help from a personal expert mentor along the way | https://soundfly.com/courses
- Introduction to Ableton Live (FREE) – https://www.coursera.org/learn/ableton-live
- Eventbrite have a section on their site for all online music seminars on a range of topics including the history of specific genres, mixing, instruments, artist messaging and more. The section is regularly updated | https://www.eventbrite.ie/d/online/music–seminars/
- Here are 450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for FREE | https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ivy-league-free-online-courses-a0d7ae675869/
- Tips for staying creative | http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/covid-19-being-a-musician-amidst-a-global-pandemic.html
- The Songwriting Academy is hosting free webinars by multi-platinum, award-winning hit songwriter Martin Sutton | https://thesongwritingacademy.co.uk/
- #CovidCreatives: A set of curated mostly free & open source resources to support creative practitioners (artists, makers, curators, designers, hackers, educators, facilitators, etc) who need to migrate their practice onto digital places & spaces | .https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iNPPgHO1bQFTey3U4G6LZ4pjb05iM0AyLGYA1We6W5c/edit?pli=1#heading=h.e9sur0tftedc
- Music documentaries can often be a good learning resource | https://nialler9.com/14-music-documentaries-worth-watching-on-netflix-right-now/
- The Ark @ Home is a way for children who are home from school to connect with The Ark through a series of at-home arts activities, virtual events, online screenings of live performances and much more | https://ark.ie/projects/the-ark-at-home
- How To Grow Your Music Career (Even During A Pandemic) | http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/how-to-grow-your-music-career-even-during-a-pandemic.html
- TedEd’s Lessons Worth Sharing: series of videos covering a wide range of music-related topics | https://ed.ted.com/search?qs=music
If you are aware of any other supports or information resources that you think would be of benefit to music creators please contact: ei.ormi@pihsrebmem