Downtown Music Holdings, the parent company of Downtown Music Publishing and Songtrust, is acquiring AVL Digital Group and its group of businesses, including CD Baby, AdRev, DashGo, and Soundrop.
The deal is estimated to be worth $200 million. In 2018, CD Baby is estimated to have generated $100M in earnings. The figure accounts for almost 1/6th of independent artist revenue globally.
AVL’s client base includes over 900,000 artists, labels and other rightsholders. Their extensive client base represents the largest independent sound recording catalog in the music industry.
“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.
AVL will be led by CD Baby’s respected CEO Tracy Maddux, based in Portland, Oregon.
CD Baby pioneered distribution for independent artists, first with CDs and then as a launch partner for iTunes in 2003. It currently represents the largest independent sound recording catalog in the music industry. They own the rights to 10 million tracks from 900,000 artists, labels and other rights holders.
“This transaction will allow us to take the services we offer the independent music community to the next level,” added Tracy Maddux. “We are excited to continue to build leading platforms that help artists release, promote and monetize their music all around the world.”
Founded by CEO Justin Kalifowitz in New York in 2007, 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, Downtown’s songwriters have been nominated for 18 Grammy Awards. Downtown even scored multiple No.1 hit singles including Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Shallow. Downtown’s royalty collection division Songtrust serves over 170,000 songwriters and music publishers across 1.6m song copyrights.