Downtown launches neighbouring rights division, names Dean Francis GM

Downtown launches neighbouring rights division, names Dean Francis GM

Downtown has announced the establishment of Downtown Neighbouring Rights, a new stand-alone business unit dedicated specifically to performance royalties.

The company said it follows significant expansion of and client interest in Downtown’s neighbouring rights capabilities offered as a service within its music publishing division and to label clients through Fuga, which the company acquired in January of this year.

With over 15 years of experience, neighbouring rights veteran Dean Francis has been appointed general manager and will lead operations for the new business unit, based in London. Since joining in 2018, Francis has led neighbouring rights collections for Downtown’s music publishing division. Prior to Downtown, he spent more than a decade with PPL.

Fuga's neighbouring rights capabilities will be integrated into this new business unit throughout the remainder of 2020. It has direct affiliations with more than 50 collection societies and performance rights organisations around the world. 

Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber, Kimbra, Koffee, Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder, Tori Amos, Young T & Bugsey, and others have already signed with Downtown to manage their global neighbouring rights administration.  

“With revenue from touring and live performance dramatically reduced, artists and record labels are bringing added scrutiny and focus to important income sources like neighbouring rights,” said Andrew Sparkler, EVP of global business development for Downtown. “By centralising the neighbouring rights expertise from across Downtown-owned companies into a single business unit, and with oversight by an executive with deep industry knowledge of the space, we can more efficiently support our clients who want the same kind of professional management and transparency available through other Downtown companies.”

“The comprehensive neighbouring rights management service that we’ve built is a part of the world-leading suite of end-to-end services that Downtown Music Holdings provides,” said Francis. “We have a bespoke approach and a more involved relationship with our clients. Though our principal role is maximising their neighbouring rights collection, we are also uniquely positioned to play a broader advisory role in their careers — utilising our comprehensive understanding of publishing and distribution as well as the technological solutions that Downtown’s multifaceted portfolio of innovative businesses provides.”

The announcement follows Downtown’s recent acquisition of Sheer Publishing, Africa’s largest independent publisher.

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