If you’re a record label/master rights owner, and your master recordings are being publicly performed and broadcasted, you’re earning neighboring rights royalties. This is completely separate from the field of music publishing, in which songwriters and composers earn performance royalties from public broadcasts of their musical compositions. For this exclusive service, El Distro works with its approved eligible top-tier labels to register their sound recordings and collect their neighboring rights royalties from neighboring rights collection societies in key territories. Due to the unique nature of this royalty type, El Distro Neighboring Rights Administration Service is only available to eligible labels who are distribution clients and who are approved by our Rights Management team.
You’re earning royalties if your music is______
- Being played on Pandora
- Being played on BBC radio
- Being played on Sirius XM
- Being played on cable TV music channels
- Being played on terrestrial radio outside of the USA
- Being played as background music in restaurants, retailers, hotels, etc.
- Being played in clubs / live performance venues
- Being played on any internet radio platform
- Being played on any satellite radio platform
- Being played on various new online medias
Neighboring rights refer to the right to publicly perform, or broadcast, a sound recording. Sound recording owners (record labels and performing artists) collect neighboring rights royalties whenever their sound recordings are publicly performed on satellite radio (such as Sirius XM), internet radio (such as Pandora, BBC), cable TV music channels, TV outside of the USA, terrestrial radio outside of the USA, and much more.
Worth noting: The neighboring rights law differs internationally. Basically, in almost all territories outside of the USA, neighboring rights are recognized by law. But neighboring rights are not technically recognized by law in the USA, for certain reasons too long and complex to explain here. (If you do want the reason, read here. However, in the USA, the society called Sound Exchange collects “digital performance royalties,” or more specifically, “statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as Sirius XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels, and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings.” Technically, this is not recognized as “neighboring rights.” But it’s so similar that we simply umbrella it all into one worldwide service: Neighboring Rights Administration.
The concept of neighboring rights is similar to that of performance rights in the field of music publishing, because both kinds of royalties are earned through public performances/broadcasts of music. Except that performance rights refer to the right to publicly perform a musical composition. Neighboring rights refer to the right to publicly perform a sound recording.
Neighboring rights and publishing rights (rights to the musical composition) are two completely separate businesses.
Neighboring rights have to do with sound recordings. Record labels and performing artists own the rights to sound recordings. Therefore, record labels and performing artists collect neighboring rights royalties.
Publishing rights have to do with musical compositions. Publishers and composers/songwriters own the rights to compositions. Therefore, composers/songwriters (and publishers/publishing administrators if the composer is signed with a publisher/publishing administrator) collect any publishing-related royalties (performance royalties, mechanical royalties, etc.).
How about some handy dandy analogies a la elementary school:
A neighboring right is to a sound recording … what a performing right is to a musical composition.
Neighboring rights are to performing artists/record labels … what performing rights are to songwriters/composers/publishers.
Neighboring rights collection societies are to neighboring rights … what Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) are to performing rights.
Neighboring rights royalties are collected by neighboring rights collection societies. In order to collect the neighboring rights royalties you are owed, registering your individual master recordings directly with each collection society in the territories you are getting radio play in is absolutely essential.
Sound Exchange collects “digital performance royalties,” or more specifically, “statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as Sirius XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels, and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings.” They collect these royalties for performances and broadcasts in the USA.
One place to register your works in countless countries and collecting societies around the world! If you digitally distribute, you simply click through and you will have your material registered across the world in moments.
United States – SoundExchange
United Kingdom – PPL
Netherlands – SENA
Sweden – IFPI
France – SCPP
Denmark – GRAMEX
Finland – GRAMEX
Spain – AGEDI
Belgium – SIMIM
Australia – PPCA
Canada – AVLA
Italy – SCF
Brazil – ABRAMUS
If we’re aware of any major radio airplay in other territories not listed above, we will register repertoire directly there as well.
Neighboring rights royalties are earned mostly when your master recordings are publicly performed and broadcast, not sold, though some societies use sales data in the calculation of certain incomes, particularly with regards to private copy remunerations.
If you are a master rights owner, you are earning neighboring rights royalties if your master recordings are:
– Being played on Pandora
– Being played on BBC (any BBC radio station)
– Being played on Sirius XM
– Being played on cable TV music channels
– Being played on terrestrial radio outside of the USA
– Being played in businesses as background music (like restaurants, retailers, hotels, etc.)
– Being played in clubs / live performance venues
– Being played on any internet radio platform
– Being played on any satellite radio platform
– Being played on various new online medias
El Distro will only work with selected and approved labels for neighboring rights administration because we can only collect royalties for those labels we know undoubtedly are earning neighboring rights royalties. Since we charge no fees for this service, and only retain a fair % of the ensuing royalties, we want to ensure that our efforts and time are worthwhile for both El Distro and our label clients. On a case by case basis, we may work with labels who don’t necessarily have radio airplay yet, but are starting to get “hot” and are showing signs of significant growth.
Absolutely not. We will be representing your master rights to the neighboring rights collection societies in order to collect the royalties on your behalf, but we assume no contractual ownership whatsoever of your master recordings.
We normally only sign up digital distribution clients however, feel free to contact us and we may make an exception.
We do have a Publishing Administration service available. In some cases we may accept artists but ask that you contact us for us to evaluate the possibility of taking your catalog on.
We’ve set up an ever-evolving knowledge base with some of these questions but also, additional and helpful feedback to hopefully help you in the process.