SoundMerch Australian Music Prize Reveals Massive Increase In 2024 Cash Prize

3 July 2024 | 9:00 am | Ellie Robinson

This year’s Australian Music Prize has been increased from $30,000 to $50,000 – proving SoundMerch’s “commitment and support of Australian artists”.

Australian Music Prize

Australian Music Prize (Supplied)

SoundMerch has officially launched the 2024 edition of the Australian Music Prize (AMP), celebrating the best local music released in the past 12 months.

Returning for its landmark 20th instalment, this year’s AMP will consider albums released by local artists between October 28, 2023 and October 25, 2024. Judges have already started listening to eligible records, with more than 200 in contention as of this morning (July 3) – and according to a press release, more than 100 additional releases are being considered for the panel.

The first part of the judging process will see 50 albums nominated for the AMP. The first three were unveiled upon the official launch today: Faith Crisis Pt 1 by Middle Kids, Sweet Justice by Tkay Maidza, and ’Til My Song Is Done by Emma Donovan.

In a group statement, Middle Kids said they feel “well pleased to have Faith Crisis Pt 1 longlisted” for this year’s AMP. They added: “It is a special album to us and it sits alongside other albums we deeply adore.”

Maidza shared the excitement, saying: “Thank you to the people for nominating Sweet Justice! This album coming out was a big moment for me in my journey and career and it holds a special place in my heart – this is just a bonus, thank you!”

And of course, Donovan was also rapt with the news, saying she feels “so humbled to receive this nomination for my new solo album”. She too added: “I feel really lucky to be alongside great musicians – and huge thanks to AMP for continuing to support and listen.”

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Notably, this year’s AMP will see its accompanying cash prize increased from $30,000 to $50,000. In his own statement, SoundMerch CEO Tim Everist vouched that it reflects the company’s “commitment and support of Australian artists and the AMP”.

More than 500 albums are expected to be eligible for the 2024 AMP – an increase from 485 in last year’s contest. “Luckily,” said AMP founder and prize director Scott B. Murphy, “our hand-picked judges love listening to new music! The very generous increase in prize money by SoundMerch is a very clear sign that the work the judges and I do for The AMP means something special in our industry. I can’t praise Tim and his team enough for their support.”

The AMP team will continue to announce albums nominated for the 2024 AMP, all the way until early November. The final shortlist (of nine releases) will then be published in late November, followed by the winner in early December. In the meantime, artists and their teams are encouraged to submit their albums directly to the judging panel – head here for more info on how.

The 2023 Australian Music Prize was taken out by RVG, who earned the title with their career-defining third album, Brain Worms. Today, frontwoman Romy Vager reflected on the achievement: “There’s a marked difference in my belief in my songwriting abilities before and after winning the AMP.

“To have our album chosen by a group of judges that spend many weeks carefully critiquing and debating so many excellent records – there’s something Incredibly meaningful in that. For me it stands far apart from most other accolades a musician can receive in this country.