New York and London, June 18, 2020 — Downtown Music Holdings(Downtown) today announced the establishment of Downtown Neighbouring Rights℠, a new stand-alone business unit dedicated specifically to performance royalties. The move to create this new division follows significant expansion of and client interest in Downtown’s neighbouring rights capabilities offered as a service within its music publishing division and to label clients through FUGA®, which the company acquired in January of this year. FUGA's neighbouring rights capabilities will be integrated into this new business unit throughout the remainder of 2020. With significant expertise in navigating the complexities of rights management and direct affiliations with more than 50 collection societies and performance rights organizations around the world, Downtown Neighbouring Rights brings global scale and transparency to maximize the income due from its clients’ performances on sound recordings. 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 have already signed with Downtown to manage their global neighbouring rights administration.
“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.”
With over 15 years of experience, neighbouring rights veteran Dean Francis has been appointed General Manager and will lead operations for the new business unit, based in London. Since joining in 2018, Francis has led neighbouring rights collections for Downtown’s music publishing division. Prior to Downtown, he spent more than a decade with the U.K.-based neighbouring rights collection society PPL.
“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,” said Francis. “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.”
“Neighbouring rights” is the standard term for the income rights that relate to public performances of commercially available sound recordings. The royalties generated by this usage are equally split and paid to the rights owner, which is typically a record label, and its performers — depending on their qualification. Neighbouring rights differ from music publishing copyrights in that the latter compensate the publishers, composers and writers of a song, as opposed to its master owners and performers.
This announcement comes on the heels of Downtown’s recent acquisition of Sheer Publishing, Africa’s largest independent publisher, continuing the expansion of its global portfolio of music publishing, distribution, monetization, artist and label services businesses. In January 2020, Downtown also announced the purchase of FUGA®, the Netherlands-based B2B music technology and services company.
About Downtown Music Holdings
Downtown Music Holdings is a global company that owns, manages, and develops businesses with a vision for a more equitable and innovative music ecosystem. With operations across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and Latin America, we are the world’s leading provider of end-to-end services to artists, songwriters, labels, music publishers, and other rights holders. Through our portfolio of businesses— Downtown Music Publishing®, Sheer Publishing Africa, Downtown Neighbouring Rights℠, Songtrust®, CD Baby®, Soundrop®, DashGo℠, AdRev®, FUGA® and Downtown Music Studios — we manage millions of music copyrights, with a catalog that spans nearly 100 years of popular music, including music for film and television, and the single largest independent sound recording catalog in the industry. Our integrated platforms help democratize global music rights management and simplify the distribution, monetization, and promotion of creative works.