Program Description

The revised programme description is applicable from the 64th funding round and 17 March 2024.

I. Purpose

The program aims to support popular music in Germany. It pursues the goals of promoting emerging talent, promoting the dissemination of German music abroad, and fostering integration of individuals with a migratory background. The program contributes to location promotion, the promotion of culture, and the music industry in Germany.

II. Eligibility

Eligible applicants are musicians, performers, and artist ensembles (hereinafter referred to as ‘artists’):

  1. a) individually, if they are freelancing as artists


  1. b) together with one of the following companies in the music industry, with which a valid contract as listed below exists at the time of application:
    • Record companies (recording or artist-exclusive contract)
    • Artist management (management contract)
    • Artist agencies (booking/agency contract)
    • Music publishers (publishing contract)

Artists, or at least half of the members in the case of bands and ensembles, must demonstrably have their main residence in Germany.

Those who have received funding three times within eight funding rounds are no longer eligible to apply for the following eight funding rounds, but for a minimum of two years. This rule does not apply to individual ensemble/band members if they are active in other bands/ensembles.

The co-applying company must have a demonstrably registered business address in the European Economic Area.

The applying artists are considered emerging artists within the scope of this program if they have not released more than two albums, none of which should have achieved gold status. Artists to whom this does not apply are not excluded from applying.

Applying companies should have been active in the music market for at least three years and must, if they are a commercial enterprise, be duly registered (business/trade register registration).

III. Subject Matter

Funded are:

  • Work creation, pre-production, and rehearsal times
  • Production of audio and audiovisual recordings
  • Production of sound and image carriers
  • Digitalization
  • Promotion and marketing measures
  • Concert performances by artists as part of concert and other event tours – at least 60 percent of the performance dates of a tour must take place within Germany

always including personnel costs, insofar as they are directly related to the aforementioned content. The project can consist of one or more of the above points.

The performances or recordings of the applying artists should predominantly involve newly created original music works.

Projects involving companies of the public sector and/or radio and television companies, whether directly or indirectly, are not eligible for funding.

The production, performance, and marketing of works that disseminate unconstitutional, illegal, criminal, or youth-endangering content are excluded from funding.

IV. Funding Volume

Funding is provided through deficit financing.

The funding share is degressive and depends on the total expenditure. As the total expenditure increases, the funding share decreases.

For total expenditures of 10,000 EUR, the maximum possible funding share is up to 60 percent of the total expenditure. The proven own contribution in this case is at least 40 percent.

For total expenditures of 75,000 EUR, the maximum possible funding share is up to 40 percent of the total expenditure. The proven own contribution in this case is at least 60 percent.

The funding limit per project is 30,000 EUR per year. No applicant or co-applicant, including legally independent subsidiaries or affiliated companies within the meaning of § 15 of the German Stock Corporation Act, should be a beneficiary of funding amounts from Initiative Musik of more than 100,000 EUR per year. Projects with a requested funding amount below 6,000 EUR are generally not considered, meaning that the required total expenditures for artist promotion must be at least 10,000 EUR.

V. Application

The funding application and, after approval, the funding contract must be submitted in digital form to Initiative Musik. The prescribed application form has to be completed in the online application portal and submitted exclusively online. The form and scope can be found in the form.

VI. Application Documents

In addition to the documents named in the funding application, the following must also be attached to the application:

  • Description of the funding project as part of a coherent overall concept for the professional development of artists


  • Bio and short profile
  • At least one current, possibly suitable and approved photo for press release
  • Three music samples
  • Video recordings (optional)
  • In the case of an application without a company in the music industry, proof of professional activity by fulfilling at least three of the following criteria with at least one document each:
    • Proof of freelance work as a singer, instrumentalist, music author, composer, or artistic DJ or producer (document from the tax office with tax number and description of the activity)
    • Proof of membership in the Künstlersozialkasse (KSK)
    • Proof of membership in GEMA
    • Proof of a currently valid rights agreement with GVL
    • Proof of a currently valid band acquisition or artist exclusive contract with a label, publishing contract, management contract, or booking contract with a booking agency (not a guest performance contract)
    • Proof of state-recognized professional or university education in a specific artistic-musical field

Documents for companies in the music industry in the case of co-application:

  • Brief description of the company
  • Currently valid contractual agreement with the artist according to No. II ‘Eligibility’ – validity must exist at the time of application and must be unconditional.
  • Proof of the official registration of the company (commercial register extract, business registration, certificate from the tax office about registration as a freelancer with tax number and description of the activity) – registration must clearly prove the type of entrepreneurial activity as defined in No. II ‘Eligibility’

For concert tours:

  • Tour plan

For promotion and marketing measures:

  • Marketing and promotion plan (optional)

Detailed binding requirements for individual documents will be named, if necessary, in the application form in the online application portal.

VII. Selection Process
  1. Funding decisions are made by the supervisory board of Initiative Musik, or a committee commissioned by it. Applications are evaluated exclusively based on the submitted documents. The decision of the supervisory board is final. Legal recourse is excluded.
  2. Criteria include, among others:
    • Expected effects on the music location Germany
    • Artistic quality
    • Market opportunities for the repertoire and the artist
    • Plausibility of the funding project within a coherent overall concept for the professional development of artists
    • Live performance of the artists
    • Scope and quality of the tour project
  3. Funding decisions are communicated to the applicants by Initiative Musik’s office via email.
VIII. Duration of Funding

The allocation of funding is exclusively for individual cases. It is one-time and does not establish a claim for further funding and/or an increase in the funding scope.

IX. Final Audit

After the project has been implemented, Initiative Musik examines whether the implementation and use of the funding have occurred in accordance with the application and contract.


Counselling hours:
Monday: 2pm – 5pm
Tuesday: 10am – 1pm
Wednesday: 10am – 1pm
Thursday: 2pm – 5pm

030 531 475 45 30

We are also happy to provide advice in English or Spanish. Please note that applications must be submitted in German.
Visit Team Page

Initiative Musik News

Get the latest information on funding programs, events and more
Logo der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien Logo GVL Logo GEMA Logo Deutscher Musikrat