Neighboring Rights

Collect additional 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 in non-US territories, you could be eligible to earn 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.

Symphonic’s Neighboring Rights Administration Service is only available to eligible labels who are distribution clients and approved by our Rights Management team.

Neighboring Rights Flow

You’re earning royalties if your music is:

  • Plays on radio / web radio
    • Terrestrial radio outside of the US, e.g. BBC
    • Satellite (e.g. Sirius XM)
  • Streams on TV
  • Publicly performed (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)
  • Included in new online media (e.g. webcasts, simulcasting)

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. In certain territories the collection types vary beyond only Digital Performance collection to include terrestrial radio, TV, and others. For the US we include SoundExchange Digital Performance collection in our Neighboring Rights offering, and for worldwide collection we also partner with SoundExchange to collect the various revenue streams in many territories ex-US.

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.

These 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 and 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 societies in each country in which the right legally exists. To do this on your own you would need to set up accounts with CMOs in each territory. Through Symphonic’s Neighboring Rights service we can collect on your behalf in 35 territories – and the list is growing – around the world.

What does SoundExchange cover?

SoundExchange 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.

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.

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.

How do I apply?

First, you have to be a distribution client and if you are, you can apply by creating a ticket via our Help Desk and letting us know more about your catalog. We’ll review your application and advise you if you are approved or denied for Neighboring Rights through Symphonic.

Territories Covered

Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela