Downtown Music Holdings, parent company of Downtown Music Publishing and Songtrust, has acquired AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of businesses which include CD Baby, AdRev, DashGo and Soundrop. The deal is expected to close in early April. AVL Digital and its companies will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary of Downtown Music Holdings, and will be led by CD Baby’s CEO Tracy Maddux.
AVL’s physical product divisions, Disc Makers, BookBaby, and Merchly, will be acquired in a separate transaction by the Disc Makers executive team as part of the newly-formed DIY Media Group. Disc Makers and AVL’s digital distribution businesses will maintain their strategic partnership so artists can continue to easily offer their fans both digital and physical products.
“Tracy and his team have built a portfolio of music businesses operating at unmatched scale. AVL’s technology, diverse offerings and artist-first approach are well-positioned to power some of the fastest growing segments of the industry,” said Downtown Founder and CEO Justin Kalifowitz.
“This transaction will allow us to take the services we offer the independent music community to the next level,” added Maddux. “We are excited to continue to build leading platforms that help artists release, promote and monetize their music all around the world.”
The acquisition expands Downtown’s global footprint to include more than 300 employees in 14 markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America.
“Beyond shared values, the acquisition of AVL expands upon our existing portfolio and represents Downtown’s strategy of developing and investing in preeminent music businesses serving the full spectrum of music creators,” added Kalifowitz.
Downtown’s publishing division is home to some of the most iconic songs in the world including Gershwin & Heyward’s “Summertime” and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Imagine.” In 2019, its contemporary songwriters have been nominated for 18 Grammy Awards and scored multiple No. 1 hit singles including Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow.” Its Songtrust division, a global royalty collection provider, is one of the most widely used applications in the industry, serving over 170,000 songwriters and music publishers across 1.6 million song copyrights.
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