Downtown Music Holdings has announced the launch a new standalone business unit, Downtown Neighbouring Rights, dedicated specifically to performance royalties.
The new unit is headed by its London-based General Manager, Dean Francis, who joined Downtown in 2018 to lead neighbouring rights collections within Downtown’s music publishing division.
Prior to Downtown, Francis (pictured) spent more than a decade with the U.K.-based neighbouring rights collection society PPL.
Neighbouring rights are the income rights that relate to public performances of sound recordings in many countries across the globe. The royalties generated by this usage are equally split and paid to the rights owner, typically a record label, and performers on a recording.
Global recorded music performance rights payments to record labels were worth $2.6bn in 2019, according to IFPI data, double the size they were a decade previously ($1.3bn in 2009).
Unsurprisingly, it’s becoming a competitive area: the likes of Sony/ATV have moved into neighbouring rights in recent years, while BMG last month announced its official expansion into the field.
Downtown’s neighbouring rights capabilities were previously offered to clients both within its music publishing division and to label clients through FUGA, which Downtown acquired in January of this year.
FUGA’s neighbouring rights capabilities will be integrated into the Downtown Neighbouring Rights unit throughout the remainder of 2020.
“With revenue from touring and live performance dramatically reduced, artists and record labels are bringing added scrutiny and focus to important income sources like neighbouring rights.”
Andrew Sparkler, Downtown
With direct affiliations with more than 50 collection societies and performance rights organizations around the world, Downtown Neighbouring Rights already counts clients such as Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber, Kimbra, Koffee, Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder, Tori Amos, Young T & Bugsey, and others.
“With revenue from touring and live performance dramatically reduced, artists and record labels are bringing added scrutiny and focus to important income sources like neighbouring rights,” said Andrew Sparkler, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for Downtown.
“By centralizing the neighbouring rights expertise from across Downtown-owned companies into a single business unit, and with oversight by an executive with deep industry knowledge of the space, we can more efficiently support our clients who want the same kind of professional management and transparency available through other Downtown companies.”
“The comprehensive neighbouring rights management service that we’ve built is a part of the world-leading suite of end-to-end services that Downtown Music Holdings provides.”
Dean Francis, Downtown (pictured, main)
Added Francis: “The comprehensive neighbouring rights management service that we’ve built is a part of the world-leading suite of end-to-end services that Downtown Music Holdings provides.
“We have a bespoke approach and a more involved relationship with our clients. Though our principal role is maximizing their neighbouring rights collection, we are also uniquely positioned to play a broader advisory role in their careers — utilizing our comprehensive understanding of publishing and distribution as well as the technological solutions that Downtown’s multifaceted portfolio of innovative businesses provides.”
Downtown last month acquired Sheer Publishing, Africa’s largest independent publisher, continuing the expansion of its global portfolio of music publishing, distribution, monetization, artist and label services businesses.Music Business Worldwide
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