Downtown Expands Into Africa With The Acquisition Of Leading Music Publisher Sheer Music
Downtown Music Holdings announced Monday (May 18) that it has acquired Sheer Music Publishing, Africa’s largest independent music publisher, expanding the company’s geographic footprint to the continent of Africa.
The move will also provide the African music industry “greater access to artist and label services available through Downtown,” the company said in a press release.
Sheer Music will continue to function as a “standalone business” within Downtown, but will have access to Downtown’s music publishing, distribution, monetization, artist and label services businesses. In partnership with Downtown’s companies like CD Baby, Songtrust and FUGA, Sheer Music will also help African creators receive proper compensation for their work.
Sheer Music and Downtown will also work to together to develop new services that meet the specific needs of African creators.
“Africa is a high potential market for digital music services due to its large population, high proportion of youth and the people’s passion for music of all genres,” said David Alexander, managing director of Sheer Music Publishing, in the announcement. “The rapid penetration of broadband services along with lower data price points makes the African continent a rising star in the music business of tomorrow.”
As part of the deal, Sheer Music will gain a strong A&R team to facilitate cross-cultural collaborations, as well as new market access for African clients, allowing for African music to be placed in film, television, and advertising around the globe. Sheer Music will maintain its current independent royalty platform to service its international publishers for sub-publishing in Africa.
“For Downtown, as we’ve expanded across six continents and more than 20 cities looking to markets that have a rich tradition of music is a key driver in our global strategy,” said Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown CEO, in a statement. “The vibrant music industry across Africa reflects the diversity of the continent itself. We are excited to collaborate with Sheer Music Publishing to expand the artist and label services available to African creators, and further support Downtown’s vision to create a more equitable and innovative global music ecosystem.”
The acquisition follows the expansion of the African music industry in recent years, due to the expansion of global streaming services in the region, popular collaborations between major African and international artists, the increased use of smartphones, and demographic trends.
On May 14, Downtown announced the acquisition of London-based music publisher Good Solider Songs. The agreement included more than 350 works, including The 1975’s publishing catalog and the band’s upcoming album, Notes on a Conditional Form, out May 22.