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.

Robin Thicke and Nile Rodgers also join the division after a remarkable 2013. The Thicke-fronted Blurred Lines was recognised by the IFPI as the world's top-selling single of last year with 14.8 million copies sold, while Chic co-founder Rodgers enjoyed a remarkable commercial renaissance with the Daft Punk track Get Lucky, which he co-wrote and performed on, selling around 10 million units globally.

Mikky Ekko is the co-writer and featured vocalist on the Rihanna-fronted global smash Stay, which sold 7.9 million copies last year and has now surpassed 10 million sales worldwide.

Also part of the roster, Londoners Rudimental delivered one of the top-selling breakthrough albums of 2013 with Home, while having scored two UK No.1 singles.

Clean Bandit have emerged as one of the biggest new acts of 2014 with Rather Be featuring Jess Glynne having topped the UK singles chart for four weeks and become the second top seller of the year, according to the Official Charts Company. It has also been a hit around the world.

Another chart-topping breakthrough act on the roster is Canadian singer-songwriter Kiesza whose single Hideaway reached No. 1 in the UK in April.

Sony/ATV is also privileged to be representing a number of legendary artists for Neighbouring Rights. These include the late Lou Reed who, after co-founding the iconic New York City band the Velvet Underground, had an incredibly successful solo career across more than four decades.

Jon Lord was a co-founder of the ground-breaking UK heavy rock band Deep Purple and before his death in 2012 also performed with a number of other acts, including Whitesnake and Paice Ashton Lord.

The division also features two celebrated record producers in Steve Lillywhite and Alan Parsons. Lillywhite's impressive CV includes working with The Rolling Stones, U2, Talking Heads, The Killers and Morrissey, while Parsons' career has combined engineering classic albums such as The Beatles' Abbey Road and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon, producing records for acts including Al Stewart and Cockney Rebel and making his own music as The Alan Parsons Project.

Guy Moot says: "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 Williams

What are Neighbouring Rights?

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.