FAQs

Categories

CATEGORIES

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ALBUMS

Album – Adult Contemporary
Album – Alt. Country
Album – Americana
Album – Bluegrass
Album – Blues
Album – Children’s Music
Album – Compilation Album
Album – Concept Album
Album – Contemporary Christian / Gospel
Album – Contemporary Classical
Album – Country
Album – Dance / Electronica
Album – Eclectic
Album – Folk / Singer-Songwriter
Album – Funk / Fusion / Jam
Album – Indie / Alt. Rock
Album – Instrumental (Mainly)
Album – Jazz Instrumental (Mainly)
Album – Jazz with Vocals (Mainly)
Album – Latin
Album – Live Performance
Album – Metal / Hardcore
Album – New Age
Album – Pop
Album – R&B / Soul
Album – Rap / Hip-Hop
Album – Reissue
Album – Rock / Hard Rock
Album – Spoken Word (with music accompaniment)
Album – Tribute Album
Album – World Beat
Album – World Traditional

SONGS

Song – A Cappella
Song – Acoustic
Song – Adult Contemporary
Song – Alt. Country
Song – Americana
Song – Bluegrass
Song – Blues
Song – Children’s Music
Song – Contemporary Christian / Gospel
Song – Country
Song – Cover Song
Song – Dance / Electronica
Song – Eclectic
Song – Folk / Singer-Songwriter
Song – Funk / Fusion / Jam
Song – Holiday Song (Any Holiday)
Song – Indie / Alt. Rock
Song – Instrumental
Song – Jazz Instrumental
Song – Jazz with Vocals
Song – Latin
Song – Love Song
Song – Metal / Hardcore
Song – New Age
Song – Pop
Song – R&B / Soul
Song – Rap / Hip-Hop
Song – Rock / Hard Rock
Song – Social Action
Song – Spoken Word (with music accompaniment)
Song – Story Song
Song – World Beat
Song – World Traditional

EP [3-5 songs; 25 minutes or less]

EP – Dance / Electronica
EP – Eclectic (Eclectic / Spoken Word with music)
EP – Instrumental (New Age / Instrumental / Contemporary Classical)
EP – Jazz (Jazz / Funk / Fusion / Jam)
EP – Live Performance
EP – Pop (Pop / Adult Contemporary)
EP – Rock (Indie / Alt. Rock, Rock / Hard Rock, Metal / Hardcore)
EP – Roots / Country (Folk / Singer-Songwriter, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Alt. Country, Country)
EP – Urban (Rap / Hip-Hop, R&B / Soul)
EP – World (Latin / World Beat / World Traditional)

MUSIC PRODUCER Awarded to the producer(s) of a full-length Album or EP:

Producer – Dance / Electronica
Producer – Eclectic (Eclectic / Spoken Word with music)
Producer – Instrumental (New Age / Instrumental / Contemporary Classical)
Producer – Jazz (Jazz / Funk / Fusion / Jam)
Producer – Live Performance
Producer – Pop (Pop / Adult Contemporary)
Producer – Rock (Indie / Alt. Rock, Rock / Hard Rock, Metal / Hardcore)
Producer – Roots / Country (Folk / Singer-Songwriter, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Alt. Country, Country)
Producer – Urban (Rap / Hip-Hop, R&B / Soul)
Producer – World (Latin / World Beat / World Traditional)

MUSIC VIDEO

Music Video – Long Form
Music Video – Short Form
Music Video – Lyric

PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN

Artist Publicity Photo
Live Performance Photo
Music Website (Artist, Band, Record Label, Etc.) – Sponsored by 
Album Packaging
Album Art
Gig / Promo Poster (Venue, Record Release, Festival, etc.)
Swag (Merchandising)

Eligibility & Submission Guidelines

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ELIGIBILITY [Music]

We strongly recommend – but do not require – that all submitted material is copyrighted.
Learn more about how to copyright your work here:
**http://www.musicbizacademy.com/internet/how2copyright.htm

  • All self-releases and independent record label releases are eligible. [This includes Independent releases distributed by a major label].
  • Music released by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group or any of their sub labels is NOT eligible.
  • Music must be released – or intended to be released (ie. available to the public in physical, digital download or streaming format – for sale or free) between May 31, 2016 and December 31, 2017.
  • Submissions to all Song categories (except Cover Song & A Cappella Song categories) must be original.
  • Cover Songs do not require permission from the publisher to be eligible.
  • Album, EP and Music Producer entries must be primarily original material (except Tribute Album)
  • EP: Consists of 3-5 songs; 25 minutes or less. [Exceptions made for work publicly described or reviewed as an EP]

 

ELIGIBILITY [VISUAL ARTS]

We recommend – but do not require – that all submitted material is copyrighted.

  • All Video and Design entries must be created exclusively for a project which has been released, or intended to be released) between May 31, 2016 and December 31, 2017.
  • Design submissions may feature independent and/or major label artists.
  • Long Form Music Video is defined as a video presentation of a concert, documentary, multi-video compilation, etc.
  • Music Website: must promote an artist/band, independent record label, music event, music venue, or music business company.
  • Swag: is defined as any individual article or packaged articles of merchandise (t-shirt, hat, mug, bumper sticker, kazoo, etc.) created exclusively for the band or release being promoted.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

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Music Submissions:
  • All music entries must be fully mastered and complete. Demo recordings are not eligible.
  • Album categories: one entry = one complete, full-length Album
  • Song categories: one entry = one complete Song
  • EP categories: one entry = one complete EP
  • Music Producer category: one entry = one complete, full-length Album or EP
  • Music Video Short Form [Concept, Performance or Lyric]: one entry = one video of a song
  • Music Video Long Form: one entry = one multiple song video presentation, music documentary, or other long form video
Music Category Guidelines:
  • A Cappella Song: may not contain any pitched instruments
  • Compilation Album: a compilation of various artists or a compilation of one artist’s previous work
  • Concept Album: all songs must connect to an overall theme or unified story
  • Cover Song: must be version of a previously recorded, commercially released song by another artist
  • Eclectic Album: a broad and diverse range of musical styles either within the songs or throughout the album
  • Eclectic Song: a broad and diverse range of musical styles within the song
  • Holiday Song (Any Holiday): theme must relate to a specific holiday/holidays or holiday season
  • Instrumental Album: Majority of the album must be instrumental only
  • Instrumental Song: No lyrics or singing, but may include limited vocal input, [e.g. in the song “Tequila”]
  • Live Performance Album: album must be recorded in front of a live audience
  • Love Song: theme must revolve around Love [searching for love, being in love, unrequited love, breaking up, etc.]
  • Reissue Album: album must have been released previously
  • Social Action Song: covers social issues and/or encourage social change or action
  • Spoken Word Album or Song: lyrics must be spoken with no structured melody; majority of song or album must contain music accompaniment
Design Entries:
  • Album Packaging: one entry = all packaging components specific to one release
  • Album Art: one entry = artwork for the album cover (CD/vinyl face), back panel, and any tray panels, booklets, inserts or other artwork for one release
  • Poster: one entry = one poster promoting a gig, festival, release, etc.
  • Photography: one entry = one black & white/color print (8 x 10 preferred) or digital file
  • Swag (Merchandising) design category: one entry = one article or packaged articles of merchandise (t-shirt, hat, mug, bumper sticker, kazoo, etc.)
  • Music Website (Artist, Band, Record Label, etc.): one entry = one site homepage URL
IMPORTANT FYI:
  • ENTRY DEADLINE: Midnite, Friday, August 4th, 2017
  • You may enter the same Song, Album, or EP in multiple categories
  • You may submit as many entries as you wish
  • If submitting by mail, include one CD per entry and clearly identify on each disc: the name of the artist, the title of the work, and the one category for which it is to be considered
  • If payment was made online and you are submitting by mail, be sure to print out and include your IMA order receipt with your submission
  • If paying by check, a completed entry form (or photocopy) must accompany each submission

Submission Processing Fees:

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The processing fee helps to offset the cost of organizing, opening, sorting, listening, debating, rating, tracking down & communicating with judges in far-flung places around the globe, tallying & posting results.

The nominal fee covers all IMA ongoing marketing support. And there are NO Additional fees for performance and promotions including inclusion on “Now Hear This” compilation distribution, 12 week-radio promotion campaign to 650 US & Canadian college, public and commercial radio, press releases, showcases, etc.

1 Song Entry = $30
1 Music Video [Long Form, Short Form or Lyric Video] Entry = $30
1 Design Entry = $30
1 Album Entry = $50
1 EP Entry = $50
1 Producer Entry = $50

Bulk Submission Discounts
-Submissions of 3 or 4 entries receive a 10% discount
-Submissions of 5 or more entries receive a 20% discount
(ie 5 entries equivalent to getting 1 for Free; 10 entries equivalent to getting 2 for FREE!)

*Discounts can only be processed per order. Separate orders cannot be combined to receive bulk discount.

FAQs

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General

Is this an international program?
Yes! The Independent Music Awards receives entries from nearly 100 countries on 6 continents.

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How are the nominees and winners determined?
NOMINEES: Multiple IMA judging panels review submissions to determine up to [4] Nominees in every category.
*IMA Fans Nominate [1] Entrant in all Song and Short Form (Music and Lyric) Video categories.
WINNERS: Selected from all the Nominees in each category:
Judge-determined Winners based on ratings from blue ribbon artist & industry judging panels.
Vox Pop “voice of the people” Winners based on ratings from fans voting at the Vox Pop Jukebox.

When are nominees & winners announced?
Nominees are announced in early Fall, 2017; Winners are announced in the Fall. The results of the Vox Pop vote are announced in the Fall. Time frames are subject to change.

Nominees & winners are notified via the email address provided in their submission registration. [It is important to [email protected] to your approved contacts – and notify us if your contact info changes.] An announcement will also be on our website, in The IMA Buzz Newsletter, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

To receive IMA news and updates, click here to sign up for The Buzz newsletter.

Is there a ceremony?
YES!

The 15th IMA’s Independent Music Party was held on Saturday, November 12, 2016 in New York City at the prestigious Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Nominees flew in from Australia, Sweden, Uganda, The Philippines, Ireland, Peru, England, Canada and all over the US to be in attendance.

What do I win?
An Independent Music Award! The IMAs elevate the exceptional work of independent artists and releases. And provide Winners & Nominees access to millions of music fans via yearlong marketing & sales support – as well as performance, promotion & distribution opportunities.

Adding The IMA Winner logo to your CD and promo materials can help boost bookings, media coverage and sales. And we hear it feels pretty darn good to have the work you are most proud of honored by your peers, music heroes and new fans around the world.

We’re always working on new opportunities to further the careers of entrants, nominees and winners.

Ownership & Copyright

Do I lose any rights to work entered?
NO! You maintain all rights to your work.

Does my work have to be copyrighted?
It is not a requirement. However, we believe that every artist should have their material protected with a copyright. You can learn more here:
http://www.musicbizacademy.com/internet/how2copyright.htm
http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/musician-tips/how-to-copyright-your-music/

Can I enter cover songs?
Yes, while most IMA music categories require original material – Covers are accepted in the Cover Song, A Cappella Song, Tribute Album and Concept Album categories.

All other Album categories may contain a mix of cover and original tunes, but must predominantly consist of originals.

Submission

How can I enter?
It’s easy to submit using The IMA’s online Secure Submission Platform: Register online, fill out the forms and provide the submission via one of hte acceptable formats (upload, link to download/stream, or snail mail)

You may alternately submit via partner, Sonicbids (Songs and Short Form Music Videos entered via Sonicbids are not eligible for the Fan Nomination process)

When is the deadline to submit?
The deadline to enter The 16th IMAs is Midnite, Friday, August 4th, 2017.
All mailed entries must be postmarked on or before this date [there is NO need to pay extra for rush delivery].

The IMAs reserves the right to extend the deadline.

What does it cost to enter?
A nominal processing fee is required per entry:
1 Song Entry = $30
1 Music Video [Long Form, Short Form or Lyric Video] Entry = $30
1 Design Entry = $30
1 Album Entry = $50
1 EP Entry = $50
1 Producer Entry = $50

Bulk Submission Discounts
Submissions of 3 or 4 entries receive a 10% discount
Submissions of 5 or more entries receive a 20% discount (ie 5 entries equivalent to getting 1 for Free; 10 entries equivalent to getting 2 for FREE!)

*Discounts are applied for multiple submissions at checkout & cannot be applied to separate orders.

Why do I have to pay to enter?
The processing fee helps to offset the cost of organizing, opening, sorting, listening, debating, rating, tracking down & communicating with judges in far-flung places around the globe, tallying & posting results.

AND covers all IMA ongoing marketing support – there are NO Additional fees for performance and promotions including inclusion on “Now Hear This” compilation distribution, 12 week-radio promotion campaign to 650 US & Canadian college, public and commercial radio, press releases, showcases, etc.

How can I pay the processing fee?
You may pay by credit card or Paypal.

Can I enter work in multiple categories?
Yes you may enter the same Song, Album, or EP in multiple categories.
Check out the Submission Guidelines for the details.

How many CDs should I include if I’m mailing in my entry?
Include [1] CD per category entry. Multiple submissions may be sent together.
To be sure that your entries are processed correctly, you must include the submission receipt.

Which categories should I enter?
With more than 80 Album, Song, EP, Producer, Video & Design categories, there’s a lot to choose from. You can view them here.
Artists often have difficulty pigeonholing their music – especially if it’s a mix of musical styles and influences. Or suited to more than one category.

Entrants can [and often do] enter the same work in multiple categories to expand their opportunities.

FYI: Sometimes judging panelists recommend that an entry would be better suited to another genre category. We will contact you for permission before making any changes. [Be sure to notify us if your contact info changes – and add [email protected] and [email protected] to your approved contacts so you won’t miss any news or opportunities.]

Must all music submissions be original compositions?
With the exception of Cover Song & A Cappella Song, all Song categories require original compositions, or the first public recording of the composition to be eligible.

Album, EP, and Music Producer entries must feature a majority of original material, with the exception of Tribute and Concept Album.

 

I entered work, or was asked to submit. Does this mean I’ve been nominated?
Submitting work, or being invited to enter work is not a Nomination!

The only way to determine which are the year’s best releases is to have ALL entries reviewed by numerous judging panels after submissions close. It requires several months to sort, assign, track down & communicate with judges in far-flung places around the globe.

Up to 4 Nominees in each category will be selected by Artist & Industry panelists. One Nominee in all Song and Short Form (Music and Lyric) Video categories will be determined by music fans.

Learn More about the new Vox Pop & IMA Super Fan Awards.

OK, I submitted. Will I ever hear from you?
Of course! We’ll email you directly throughout the year to keep you posted about important IMA dates, news and opportunities, so please be sure to inform us when your contact info changes.
And news about The IMAs will be posted on our website, social media pages, newsletters, press releases, blog posts, etc.

Vox Pop [Voice of the People]

What is The IMA Vox Pop?
The fan-determined portion of The IMAs help Artists and Fans connect and engage.
Art is subjective. So in addition to our influential artist and industry judging panels, we provide Nominees and Entrants tools to mobilize their fans; and help them win a coveted Vox Pop nomination or award.

In fact, we’ve enhanced all aspects of our fan outreach programs to help every Entrant increase their fan base from the moment they submit a song or music video. And to help music consumers discover new artists and releases that may otherwise been ignored.

How does Vox Pop voting work?
There are 2 parts to the new IMA Vox Pop program.

  • I. Entrants who participate in the Vox Pop Nominations will get promotion and marketing support from the moment they enter Songs or Music Videos:
    • – Your music/music videos will be uploaded to the nominating platform with links to your IMA Artist Page, web and social media sites.
    • – Your Entrant Toolkit is stocked with promotional materials that make it easy for you to encourage fans to support your songs and music videos.
    • – The IMAs will also support your efforts by incentivizing music fans to discover and vote for their favorite Entrants, join your mailing list – even help you enter more work to The IMAs. The most active fans can earn the first IMA Super Fan Award. Learn more about IMA Super Fan Awards.
    • – Up to One IMA Fan Nominee will be named in each Song and Music Video category; and then move on to the final judging rounds.
    • – FYI: There are No additional fees to participate in the Fan-Selected Nominee program. All Entrants are eligible – however your eligible entries must be available for Fans to support before the entry and voting deadline.
  • II. Both the Fan-selected and Artist/Industry Nominees are automatically included in the Vox Pop Jukebox where music fans from around the world can discover and champion their favorite IMA Nominees:
    • – Similar to the Fan Nominee program, All Nominated work will be uploaded to the voting platform with links to your IMA Artist Page, web and social media sites.
    • – Your Nominee Toolkit has promotional materials that make it easy to share your IMA goals with fans and media contacts; and to enhance your CD covers and press kits with “IMA Nominee” logo.
    • – The IMAs will also support your efforts by incentivizing music consumers to discover and vote for their favorite Nominees, join your mailing list, buy your music, etc.
    • – Vox Pop Winners will receive additional marketing support throughout the year.
    • **There are NO additional fees for marketing efforts on behalf on Vox Pop Winners or Nominees.

 

Can I win both the Fan & the Judge-Determined Award?
Absolutely!! And each year, several IMA artists do win both awards.

How do I vote?
There are No fees required to Nominate an Artist / Band, or to champion a Vox Pop Nominee. However you must register to vote. Click here to Register

  1. 1. Register at fans.IndependentMusicAwards.com
  2. 2. You must enter a valid email address and a password. Click button to register, then check your inbox to confirm your registration. If you do not receive the activation link, check your spam/junk folder and approve receiving emails from [email protected]
  3. 3. Once you have confirmed your registration, log in using the email address and password you provided.

I can’t log in. What’s the problem?
The activation link may be stuck in your spam/junk folder or you’re trying to log in using an email address that’s different than what you used to register. You will not be able to log in without clicking this activation link, or using the correct email address.

**You will not be able to register or vote if it’s past the Voting deadline.

When are the Vox Pop Winners Announced?
The results of the Vox Pop are announced in the 3rd quarter of the year, but may be delayed or changed at the discretion of The IMAs.

Nominees & Winners are notified via email to the address they registered with. An announcement will also be made on our website, in The IMA Buzz Newsletter, and our social media pages.

You can sign up for the IMA Buzz Newsletter to receive all news and updates.
And keep in touch with us via any one of our social networking sites.

How does the voting system work?
Fans listen to entered songs & videos on The IMA site. If they think it’s worthy of a nomination they click ‘Nominate’ to register their vote. After the voting process ends, the votes are added up, and the Nominee with the most votes in each category is declared the Vox Pop winner.

We use the same rating system for the Fan Nominations as well.

Can I vote for more than 1 Artist?
Absolutely! We encourage you to discover and champion new artists. In fact, the more IMA artists you support, the more points you’ll earn to become an IMA Super Fan. Learn More about Fan Rewards

You can vote in all Song and Music Video categories to NOMINATE Entrants.
You can vote in all Song, Album, EP, Producer, Music Video & Design categories to help determine the Vox Pop Winners.

Can I vote more than once for my favorite Artists?
Nope no ballot box stuffing! However we encourage you to send all the music fans you know to champion IMA Artists.
And you will earn Fan points for every artist they support in the Vox Pop poll. [Learn More about Fan Rewards and how to win the IMA Super Fan Award]

Can I change my vote?
Only before you hit the Nominate button. Once you submit your vote you will not be able to change it.

Do I have to vote in every category at once or can I return at a later time?
Yes! We encourage you to return to the Jukebox often to continue exploring new entries.
Simply log in and have at it!

IMA Fan Awards

What is The IMA Fan Award?
An extension of the popular Vox Pop [People’s Voice] Award, The IMA Super Fan Award celebrates the fan’s role in an independent artist’s success. And helps them connect in an extraordinary way.

The program rewards fans who actively champion IMA artists; and honors the most passionate patron for their outstanding support. Learn More about Fan Rewards and how to win the IMA Super Fan Award.

How does it work?
Fans accumulate points by helping their favorite IMA Artists win a Nomination and/or IMA Vox Pop Award.

There are No fees nor credit card required to Nominate an Artist/Band, or to champion a Vox Pop Nominee. However you must register to participate. Click here to Register

IMA Fan members receive:
– A toolkit stocked with promotional materials that make it easy for you to spread the word about IMA artists you are championing.
– Unique affiliate link that keeps track of the points you’ve earned.

What do I win?
Well, in addition to good karma, and special relationship with some cool indie Artists & Bands – you could win an Independent Music Award!
Plus VIP seating & backstage pass at The Independent Music Awards Gala in New York City.

We’re always working on new opportunities to reward extraordinary efforts – so be sure to sign up for the IMAbuzz newsletter so you don’t miss out on any opportunities

What do I have to do?
It’s easy [and fun!] to rack up Fan points…..but First you must register.
It is Free – No credit card required.

Then go to the Vox Pop jukebox to discover IMA Artists who need your support to earn a Fan Nomination – or later in the program, Nominees trying to win a Vox Pop Award.

There are many ways to earn points -including:
– Listening to/ Viewing Songs & Videos entered in the Vox Pop program
– Nominating your favorite Songs & Videos
– Posting your IMA Fan badge on social media sites
– Joining your favorite artists’ mailing list
– Sharing your favorite Vox Pop entries with your friends & social networks
– Sending your friends to register at The IMA site

EARN BONUS POINTS:
You’ll earn extra points for every one of your friends who registers at The IMA site.
And for every action they take on behalf of IMA artists.

EARN XTRA BONUS POINTS: Purchase an IMA Gift card to help your favorite artists submit more great work. You can spend as much or as little as you like – earn a point for every dollar you spend on their behalf.

How do I keep track of the points I’ve earned?
No worries. The promotional items in your Fan toolkit have a unique link that automatically registers your interactions on The IMA site. And the actions of every one of the friends you’ve registered. You’ll be able to easily track your progress on your Fan Dashboard.

How will I know if I’ve won?
You will be notified via the email address provided when you registered. [It is important to add [email protected] to your approved contacts – and notify us if your contact info changes].

An announcement will also be on our website, in The IMA Buzz Newsletter, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

To receive IMA news and updates, click here to sign up for The Buzz newsletter.

And you’ll be in great company: The Super Fan Winner will be announced in November, 2017 along with the year’s most exceptional artists and releases!