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Robert Fowler

Head of Music Audits - Forensic

I am the head of music royalty audits in HW Fisher Forensic, the firm’s forensic accounting department.

I have been working in the music royalty field for some 30 years. Having initially spent 10 years working in the royalty departments for 2 major record labels,  over the past 20 years I have been concentrating on the royalty audit field.

I have undertaken music royalty audits across the world from the UK to the USA (including Los Angeles, Nashville, New York), Europe, Russia, China, Japan and Australia. I have audited on behalf of some very high-profile legendary recording artists/songwriters with substantial catalogues with worldwide audit rights, alongside a diverse mix of artist/songwriters signed by majors or independents. I have often audited on behalf of record labels and music publishers for distribution, sub-publishing and licensing agreements and more recently, my work has increasingly included the market valuation of music catalogues.

My auditing experience covers royalty/contract compliance, profit share accounting, distribution deals, 360 accounting, deal analysis and music/character licensing. The complexities of music agreements alongside the diverse nature of rights exploitation within the music arena require a significant depth of understanding. This, alongside many years of practical experience across a vast range different companies and markets globally, makes me well-placed to maximise the results for any project.

Royalty auditing in the music industry is now very much an accepted practice and there is no longer the worry that this could damage label/artist or publisher/writer relationships.  A royalty audit often maximises revenue, finding unpaid royalties due, but it can also importantly highlight contractual issues that may also need addressing and can help with future contract negotiations.

The new digital age of music brings its own challenges with the volume of royalty statement data now being astonishing. The team at HWF have the technical ability, knowledge and expertise to handle this with ease.


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