Neighboring Rights Administration

Collect all the royalties that you are rightfully owed

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 service, Symphonic works only with approved record labels to register sound recordings and collect neighboring rights royalties worldwide over 43 neighboring rights collection societies in key territories. Due to the unique nature of this royalty type, Symphonic’s Neighboring Rights Administration Service is only available to eligible labels who are distribution clients and who are approved by our Rights Management team.

What are Neighboring Rights?

You’re earning royalties if your music is:

  • Being played on radio
    • (Terrestrial radio outside of the US, e.g. BBC)
  • Being played on webradio services (e.g. Sirius XM)
  • Being played on TV
  • Public performance (e.g. being played in public places and businesses)
  • Private copying levy (royalty to account for recorded music being copied domestically, paid on blank media bought for personal use)
  • Being played on new online media (e.g. webcasts, simulcasting)
  • The actual sources of income may differ from country to country.

We register your works on:

And many other societies around the world!

What are neighboring rights?

Neighboring rights refer to the right to publicly perform, or broadcast, a sound recording. Sound recording owners (record labels and master rights owner) and performing artists are entitled to 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, in Clubs, Bars and Cafés 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.  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 Vs Publishing... What are the differences?

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 compositionsand songwriting. 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.).

A neighboring right is 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.

How are neighboring rights royalties collected?

Neighboring rights royalties are collected by neighboring rights collection societiesin each country the right legally exists. 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. The international collection through reciprocal agreements a local neighboring rights collection society may have is practically not working.

What does Sound Exchange cover?

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.

Why should I sign up to this service?

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.

From where do you collect?

We, along with our partner, P.R.O. Agency, collect from the following territories.

Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Canada, USA, Brazil, Croatia, Ukraine, Moldova, Japan, Israel, Greece, Estonia, Serbia, South Korea.

If my music sells, does that mean this is a lot of money?

Neighboring rights royalties are earned mostly when your master recordings are publicly performed and broadcast, though very few societies use sales data completely or partly for the calculation of neighboring rights income, particularly with regards to private copy remunerations.

How do I know if I am earning these royalties?

If you are a master rights owner, you can earn neighboring rights royalties for example from:

-Being played on radio (terrestrial radio outside of the US, e.g. BBC)
-Being played on webradio services (e.g. Sirius XM)
-Being played on TV
-Public performance (e.g. being played in public places and businesses)
-Private copying levy (royalty to account for recorded music being copied domestically, paid on blank media bought for personal use)
-Being played on new online media (e.g. webcasts, simulcasting)
-The actual sources of income may differ from country to country.

Why is your service only for selected labels?

Symphonic 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 Symphonic 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.

Do you assume any ownership of my master recordings?

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.

How do I apply to this?

First, you have to be a distribution client and if you are, you can apply from within the SymphonicMS dashboard. We’ll review your application and advise you if you are approved or denied for Neighboring Rights through Symphonic. If you are not a client but are still interested, we’d advise you to create a ticket via our help desk.

I'm still not understanding.…

We’ve setup an ever evolving knowledge base with some of these questions but also, additional and helpful feedback to hopefully help you in the process.