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Billboard to Sponsor SongDrop Contest Judged By ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus

today01/11/2024

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Billboard is partnering with Session Studio on its January SongDrop contest, which will be judged by ABBA‘s Björn Ulvaeus — with help from staffers from the magazine. Session Studio, which was founded by Ulvaeus, producer Max Martin and songwriter Niclas Molinder, makes a software platform that songwriters, producers and musicians can use to collaborate, distribute and claim credit for their contributions to recordings so they can collect royalties.

The contest will run until Feb. 6, with the goal of identifying new talent. Ulvaeus will make the final decision on the winner, who’ll receive $1,000, a yearlong ProTools Ultimate Subscription, and a one-year membership to Billboard Pro, the definitive news source of information on the music industry, with more than 250 charts, a daily briefing and special reports. Two runners-up will also receive one-year memberships to Billboard Pro. The winners will also be announced on the Billboard website. 

“I haven’t competed in a song contest since Eurovision in 1974, but I can still remember the excitement – and I guess it went pretty well,” said Ulvaeus, who 50 years ago famously won international exposure for his band at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Session Studio runs the SongDrop contest every month, in partnership with another company in the music business each time. The idea is to expose new songwriting talent to industry professionals, as well as music fans. 

“At a time when so much about the music business is changing, it all still starts with the song,” says Billboard editorial director Hannah Karp. “With more distractions than ever competing for listeners’ attention, it’s more vital than ever to identify new songwriting talent that can cut through the noise. We hope this SongDrop contest will surface some of tomorrow’s hitmakers.”

Session Studio was founded to make it easier for streaming services to accurately identify the creators and rightsholders of compositions by offering them a way to register for credit as they work. The free app also allows users to assign songwriting credits so they can be tracked online. It has been recognized by various rightsholders and music services, including Universal Music Group, Spotify, TuneCore, SoundCloud, PPL, ASCAP and BMI.

Songwriters who are 18 and up may enter compositions that they have written themselves or with collaborators, including with AI tools. Click here for a complete list of rules.

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