Nashville-based Emily Stephenson is now the President of Publishing at Downtown Music. The news was announced on Thursday (March 30) by Downtown Music Holdings.
Stephenson most recently served as the division’s Vice President of Business Operations during her 10-year tenure at the company. She has been responsible for all aspects of publishing administration and client services for Downtown’s songwriter and publishing clients, including Ryan Tedder, Big Yellow Dog and the John Lennon Estate. Downtown’s publishing administration services currently have nearly 2 million songwriters and more than 1.5 million copyrights under management.
In her new role, Stephenson will oversee all publishing efforts, including client acquisition and business development, A&R, rights management, and client services for the group’s publishing companies—Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust and Sheer. She will report to Downtown Music President, Pieter van Rijn.
It was also announced today that London-based Mike Smith will exit his position as Global President of Downtown Music Services.
“Thanks to Mike’s fantastic leadership over the past three years, Downtown’s publishing divisions are in a great position to align our efforts and maximize revenue for our clients, whether they use Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust or Sheer,” Stephenson shares. “This unified approach means that Downtown can offer the industry’s leading publishing services both at scale and in-depth, working more closely with our current and future clients at every stage.”
Since Downtown Music Publishing was established in 2007—and Songtrust in 2011—publishing has been at the core of Downtown’s mission. The company divested its owned song catalog in 2021 to focus exclusively on providing publishing administration and creative services.
Under Stephenson’s leadership, Downtown Publishing will focus on employing the strengths of each division to create an aligned offering that shares technology and expertise. According to Downtown, Songtrust has experienced significant growth over the past five years and in 2022, reached the milestone of having distributed over $100,000,000 in royalties to independent songwriters, producers and creators.
Stephenson’s immediate team includes Jedd Katrancha, who has been promoted to Chief Commercial Officer, Publishing after sixteen years at Downtown. New York-based Katrancha was the first hire to be made by founder, Justin Kalifowitz, and subsequently led the company’s creative services and sync licensing business from its inception. In his new role, Katrancha will report to Stephenson and oversee Business Development, A&R, and Sync for Downtown’s group of publishing companies.
Of the news, Downtown Music President Rijn shares, “Emily is a proven leader and Downtown Publishing is excellent hands. Mike stewarded Downtown Music Services through a period of great change and leaves it as a global leader. Now, with Downtown’s publishing companies aligned, we’ve created a powerful service offering that will maximize client revenue and present new opportunities to Downtown’s client base.”
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