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Pieter van Rijn named CEO of Downtown Music Holdings’ global services unit Downtown Music, as division ‘completes integration strategy’ with merger of CD Baby operations

Pieter van Rijn named CEO of Downtown Music Holdings’ global services unit Downtown Music, as division ‘completes integration strategy’ with merger of CD Baby operations

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Downtown Music Holdings has undergone quite the transformation over the past five years.

In 2019, the Justin Kalifowitz-founded company, which originally made its name as a music publisher, acquired AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of services for independent artists like distro platform CD Baby – in a USD $200 million deal.

The acquisition arrived against a backdrop of a booming DIY artist sector, which has since continued to blossom: in 2023, the annual global revenue figure for the Artists Direct segment of the business (i.e. artists not releasing music through record labels) rose to $1.8 billion, as per Midia’s latest report.

The acquisition of AVL formed part of Downtown’s long-term strategy to refocus its attention on the music services sector – i.e. being a partner to copyright holders rather than owning copyrights itself.

Further services-focused M&A activity at Downtown followed with the acquisitions of Amsterdam-based B2B tech and services company FUGA in 2020 and Curve Royalty Systems in January last year.

Crystallizing its plan to go all-in on the global services sector, Downtown also sold its owned catalog of 145,000 copyrights to Concord in 2021 for around $400 million.

Downtown was, and continues to be, bullish about its services-focused strategy.

At the beginning of 2021, the company projected that it would generate over $600 million from its music services businesses, across both records and publishing, that year alone.

Today, across its operations, Downtown Music Holdings claims to be the world’s largest independent service provider.

Well-placed sources tell MBW that the company is on course to generate USD $900 million this year.

This all serves as important context for a big announcement from Downtown today (April 3).

As part of its long-term plan to focus exclusively on the services sector, Downtown has announced what it calls the “completion of its integration strategy” across its business-to-business and creator-focused businesses into a single operating company.

As part of this integration, the operations of the company’s indie distribution brand CD Baby are merging into its Downtown Music division. The CD Baby brand and platform will remain and Downtown confirms that there will be no staffing changes as a result of the merger.

Also as part of the integration, Pieter van Rijn has been appointed CEO of Downtown Music, reporting into Andrew Bergman, CEO of Downtown Music Holdings. CD Baby President Scott Williams reports…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Music Business Worldwide…

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