Sony/ATV unveils Neighbouring Rights division

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has taken the lid off its ‘rapidly growing’ Neighbouring Rights division – confirming deals with Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Nile Rodgers, Clean Bandit and the estate of Lou Reed.

The UK-based operation’s roster also includes Rudimental, Mikky Ekko, Kiesza, Alan Parsons, Grammy-winning record producer Steve Lillywhite and the estate of Deep Purple and Whitesnake keyboardist Jon Lord.

The Neighbouring Rights division was launched last year by Sony/ATV President, UK and European Creative Guy Moot with the aim of providing a bespoke service for a select number of clients.

Neighbouring Rights are rights related to the sound recording of a musical work and are due to the artists and musicians featured whenever there is a commercial exploitation of it such as through radio or TV airplay.

“We’re trying to do this differently,” said Moot. “We’re viewed as a big company, but this is a very personal service, not a one-size fits-all, plug it in the system. This is very hands-on and bespoke but with all the benefits of the synergies we have inside the company like broadcasting tracking and creative.”

The division is headed by George Powell, who spent more than four years overseeing Neighbouring Rights at UK-based music licensing and performance rights organisation PPL.

After PPL, Powell looked after royalty affairs for acts including Calvin Harris, Deadmau5 and Nero at music management company Three Six Zero before setting up Genika, his own Neighbouring Rights business, in 2012.

Powell said the service Sony/ATV is offering has been deliberately tailored to focus on only top-end clients. Artists will be helped to maximise their Neighbouring Rights revenue by Sony/ATV registering them with all the key societies worldwide.

“It’s a more bespoke, VIP service for high-level clients, which is why we’re looking after the likes of Pharrell and Robin Thicke. We’re not trying to take on a 1,000 clients. We’re looking at maybe 50 or 60,” he says.

“It comes down to providing a more personable relationship. We’re closely staying in touch with all the lawyers, accountants and managers and the acts themselves so if they have got any questions and need to discuss anything I’m here night and day for them.”

Guy Moot said of the roster: “It’s a hell of a line-up. The difference is it’s a hand-picked line-up as opposed to, ‘Let’s just take everybody’s Neighbouring Rights and plug them in the machine.'”

Sony/ATV’s Neighbouring Rights roster includes:

Clean Bandit
Mikky Ekko
Steve Lillywhite
Jon Lord (Deep Purple, Whitesnake)
Alan Parsons
Lou Reed
Nile Rodgers
Robin Thicke
Pharrell WilliamsMusic Business Worldwide

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