Understanding performance royalties can be a slog at the best of times. So once you throw neighbouring rights in the mix, it can all get a bit complicated.

Neighbouring rights are there to be collected by any artist or performer who has made an audible contribution to a song (whether that’s an original composition or a cover).

Although neighbouring rights are put under the same umbrella of publishing royalties, they are their own type of royalty that ‘neighbour’ performance royalties. Instead of just focusing on the writer of a composition, they make sure the performers and record owners are being paid for their work as well.

Neighbouring rights are attached to, and collect earnings from the sound recording (otherwise known as the master right) rather than the composition of a song.

When are neighbouring rights generated?

Similar to a performance royalty, neighbouring rights are earned through performance on TV, broadcast on the radio, or a live performance. This will be generating neighbouring rights as well as a performance royalty!

However, it is important to note that neighbouring rights are not recognised in the same way in every territory. In the United States, neighbouring rights are only earned through non-interactive streams which are generated when a song is played over digital or satellite radio (such as iHeartRadio & Pandora). You will not receive neighbouring rights for normal TV or radio play, or live performance in America.

Neighbouring rights are usually shared by:

  • The owner of the sound recording – A record label, producer or the independent musician.
  • The featured performing artist – Any artist that is mentioned on a song (such as primary/featured/with etc).
  • The non-featured artist – Any session musician that played on the original sound recording or with the artist in a live performance.

This is a royalty you can claim on if you did not compose the original song. It is also the only royalty you can claim as a session musician – so if you have performed on a recording or joined a band in a live performance, you will be owed neighbouring rights royalties!

How do you collect Neighbouring Rights royalties?

At RouteNote Publishing, we collect neighbouring rights royalties worldwide including those gained through non-interactive streaming in the United States for free – plus we will take care of all the administration!

If you are a session musician or a performer in the UK, you can join the neighbouring rights collection society PPL free of charge and start claiming your hard earned royalties today!

You can learn more about RouteNote Publishing here!