Downtown To Acquire AVL Digital Group | Shore Fire Media

Downtown Music HoldingsClient Information

27 March, 2019Print

Downtown To Acquire AVL Digital Group

Acquisition Positions Downtown As Leading Global Provider Of End-to-End Services In The Music Industry

New York, NY -- March 27, 2019 -- Downtown Music Holdings, the parent company of Downtown Music Publishing and Songtrust, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire fast-growing AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of industry-leading music distribution, rights management and artist services businesses, including AdRev, CD Baby, DashGo and Soundrop.

Having first pioneered digital distribution for independent artists as a launch partner for iTunes in 2003, AVL’s diverse client base now includes over 900,000 artists, labels and other rights holders, representing the largest independent sound recording catalog in the music industry. Collectively, AVL’s portfolio companies distribute and monetize over 10 million tracks across popular content streaming services, including Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube. AVL will be led by CD Baby’s highly-regarded CEO Tracy Maddux, based in Portland, Oregon.

“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.”

As a result of this acquisition, Downtown will be the leading provider of end-to-end services to artists, songwriters, labels, music publishers and other rights holders. Its global footprint will include over 300 employees spanning fourteen 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.

Established in New York in 2007, Downtown has quickly emerged as a global leader in the modern music industry. The company’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 #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.

Following the acquisition, which is expected to close in early April and is subject to certain customary closing conditions, AVL Digital and its portfolio companies will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary of Downtown Music Holdings.

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.

Downtown was advised by Perella Weinberg Partners and McDermott Will & Emery. Advisors for AVL included Stephens Inc., The Raine Group and Offit Kurman.

Downtown Music:

For more information regarding Downtown or AVL, please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.

For more information regarding DIY Media Group, please contact Tony van Veen (