Downtown Establishes New Neighbouring Rights Management Division

Downtown Music Holdings, our parent company, has announced the establishment of Downtown Neighbouring Rights℠ — a new stand-alone business unit dedicated specifically to performance royalties, led by neighbouring rights veteran Dean Francis. 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 the new division to manage their global neighbouring rights administration.

With over 15 years of experience, based in London, Francis has been appointed General Manager and will lead operations for Downtown Neighbouring Rights. Since joining in 2018, he has led neighbouring rights collections for Downtown Music Publishing. 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.”

The move to create the new division followed significant expansion of and client interest in the neighbouring rights capabilities offered as a service within Downtown Music Publishing and to label clients through FUGA®, which Downtown Music Holdings acquired in January. FUGA's neighbouring rights capabilities will be integrated into Downtown Neighbouring Rights throughout the remainder of 2020, and the services offered to both Downtown Music Publishing and FUGA clients will remain unchanged by the new unit's establishment.

“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 Music Holdings. “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.”

“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.