Sony/ATV Music Publishing Signs New Acts for Neighbouring Rights Division

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Signs New Acts for Neighbouring Rights Division

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has announced a series of big name artist signings to its rapidly growing Neighbouring Rights division.

Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Nile Rodgers, Clean Bandit and the estate of Lou Reed are among the first artist deals in place for the UK-based operation, while the 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.

"We're trying to do this differently," says 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, one of the industry's leading Neighbouring Rights experts.

Powell spent more than four years overseeing Neighbouring Rights at UK-based music licensing and performance rights organisation PPL, then 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. He now serves as Head of Neighbouring Rights at Sony/ATV.

Powell says the service Sony/ATV is offering has been deliberately tailored to focus on only top-end clients rather than aiming to add as many artists to the roster as possible. Artists will be helped to maximise their Neighbouring Rights revenue by Sony/ATV registering them with all the key societies worldwide and ensuring 100% of their recordings are being reported globally and accurately.

"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. "

The bespoke approach is reflected by the service's tight-knit roster, which ranges from music legends to some of the most successful breakthrough acts of the past 12 months.

Pharrell Williams has joined the division during what is the most successful period of his illustrious career. Having scored two of 2013's biggest global hits as co-writer and featured vocalist on Blurred Lines with Robin Thicke and T.I. and on Get Lucky with Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers, he is behind the most popular hit of the current year to date with Happy. It has sold more than 4 million copies in the US and around 1.4 million units in the UK, while reaching No. 1 around the world.