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The 20th Australian Music Prize is officially launched today. Based originally on UK’s Mercury Prize, the 20th SoundMerch AMP prize money has been increased to $50,000 – courtesy of naming rights partner: SoundMerch

The first three albums nominated by the judges were announced today. For the 20th year in a row, The Australian Music Prize has assembled a panel of independent, expert judges of new music: to award one artist a cash prize of $50,000*. The prize money, for the 5th year, is sponsored by leading music merchandising company, SoundMerch. The increase from $30,000 to $50,000 for this 20th prize shows the enormous commitment SoundMerch has to the health of the Australian music industry. Tim Everist, CEO of SoundMerch, said: “We’re proving our commitment and support of Australian artists and THE AMP – by increasing the prize money to $50,000.”

The 20th SoundMerch AMP is for eligible Australian artist albums released between 28.10.2023 and 25.10.2024. The 19th prize had the judges listening to 485 eligible albums – over 500 are expected for this 20th prize. “Luckily, our hand-picked judges love listening to new music!” Said AMP Founder and Prize Director, Scott B. Murphy. “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.”

As well as the increased and continued support from SoundMerch, The AMP again enjoys the continued support of its Industry Partners – this year adding Program Records and Linktree. The 19th prize, handed out by SoundMerch in December 2023, went to RVG for the album ‘Brain Worms.’ “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.” – Romy Vager RVG

Judges have been listening to eligible albums since April this year. Over 200 albums are currently ‘in the ears’ of the judging team and over 100 more have been identified and await being assigned to judges for the first stage of the process. This initial judging process will produce 50 Nominated albums. Out of the albums already heard, the judges have nominated three to be in the running to win the $50,000 courtesy of SoundMerch:

‘Faith Crisis Pt 1’ by Middle Kids “We are well pleased to have Faith Crisis Pt 1 longlisted for the Australian Music Prize this year. It is a special album to us and it sits alongside other albums we deeply adore.”

‘Sweet Justice’ by Tkay Maidza “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!”

‘Til My Song Is Done’ by Emma Donovan “So humbled to receive this nomination for my New Solo Album. I Feel really lucky to be alongside great musicians – and huge thanks to AMP for continuing to support & listen.”

Via social media and its website, The 20th SoundMerch AMP will continue to announce the Nominated albums until early November. The Shortlist (9 best albums) will be announced late November, followed by the winner announcement in early December. @australianmusicprize

If you want to be sure the judges are listening to your eligible album, visit: (please ensure you check its eligibility before doing so)

Musicians: Alexander Gow, Michael Hohnen, Fanny Lumsden, James Mangohig, Abbe May, Angie McMahon, Greta Ray, Henry Wagons

Music media: Mikey Cahill, Bryget Chrisfield, Aeron Clark, Chris Holland, Simon Finck, Ben Madden, Matt Perrett, Zoe Radas, Mary Varvaris, Simon Winkler, Bernard Zuel

Music retailers: Steve Bell, Chris Berkley, Tim Daley, Mike Glynn, Matt ‘Footy’ Horvath, Cody Lee, Pat Monaghan, Jeb Taylor (more judges may be added during the year)

* includes GST, if applicable

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