Kobalt has promoted Ann Tausis to CEO of its Neighbouring Rights division, based in London.
Tausis has led Kobalt's Neighbouring Rights (KNR) since 2013. Under her tenure, the division has distributed more than $250 million to its 2,000-plus performers and recording rightsholders, from more than 70 collective management organizations around the world.
Today, KNR claims it represents 70% of the U.K.'s most played artists in 2018.
"Ann’s commitment to neighbouring rights is second to none," said Kobalt founder and CEO Willard Ahdritz. "She continues to lead the charge and fight in developing markets to value neighbouring rights and ultimately ensures that performers are paid fairly around the world. She is not only a key business leader at Kobalt but an advocate for the industry."
Tausis co-founded the Independent Alliance for Artists Rights (IAFAR) last November to advocate for neighboring rights, working to resolve issues surrounding the complex process of collecting this income stream, which compensates the master recording owner (typically, the label) and the performer when music is publicly performed -- i.e., broadcasted on the radio, played in a restaurant or at a concert, etc. Notably, the U.S. is among the countries that do not recognize traditional neighboring rights payments, having not signed the Rome Convention that implemented this process in 1961.
"I am very lucky that I can go to work every day and do something that I thoroughly enjoy and wholeheartedly believe in," Tausis added. "Having had the trust and support from Willard Ahdritz and the late Hans van Berkel to be able to build Kobalt Neighbouring Rights to the business it is today has been a privilege and I’m very much looking forward to continue on this great journey."