Kobalt launches Neighbouring Rights division

Kobalt Music Group has formally launched its neighbouring rights division, Kobalt Neighbouring Rights Limited (KNR). 
Hans van Berkel, founder and former CEO of leading neighbouring rights society SENA, has been appointed as KNR Executive Chairman.

Sabine Jones, who previously ran neighbouring rights societies PAMRA (UK) and SWISSPERFORM, has joined as Managing Director.

Kobalt says it will simplify the very complex process of neighbouring rights, maximising earnings and speeding up payments to those who are entitled to remuneration, including performers (featured and non-featured) and producers (i.e. the record labels).

It claims clients eligible for neighbouring rights payments will experience at least 25% uplift in neighbouring rights collections.

Willard Ahdritz, CEO and Founder of Kobalt Music Group said: “I am very excited that Hans van Berkel and Sabine Jones, some of the most experienced and well respected society executives, have teamed up and joined Kobalt to build our global neighbouring rights business.

“The combination of ‘the Kobalt approach’ and unique technology platform, together with their superior reputation, expertise and range of contacts, will set another new standard by delivering increased revenues and more tailored services to our clients.”

After working for PolyGram in various countries, van Berkel founded and ran Dutch Neighbouring Rights society SENA for 18 years, managing international collections for the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Andrea Bocelli and many others. Under van Berkel’s tenure, SENA became to go-to neighbouring rights society due to its reputation and high results. The society had the highest collecting revenue per capita of all neighbouring rights societies and was ranked as the No.6 society in the world (Billboard July 24, 2010).

“Kobalt’s business model and corporate values of transparency, integrity and client service focus parallels the values that fueled the success of SENA to be one of the top neighbouring rights societies in the world,” added van Berkel, “Therefore I am very excited about now working on a global level in a commercial environment focused on better servicing our clients and playing a leading role in the evolution of Kobalt’s neighbouring rights division.”

In a statement, Kobalt explained: The procedure of registering, processing and receiving global neighbouring rights remuneration for performing artists (featured and non-featured performers), and producers (i.e. the record labels) differs substantially from the process of copyright administration for publishing rights. In neighbouring rights, payment criteria, registration processes and finally collecting the monies due to the rights holders is a very complex maze and different in nearly every territory. The number of neighbouring rights societies varies in each country. Each society has its own rules related to the collection and distribution of remuneration.Music Business Worldwide

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