Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

Downtown buys African music publisher Sheer

By | Published on Tuesday 19 May 2020

Downtown Music Publishing

With the ink still drying on its deal last week to buy UK music publisher Good Soldier Songs, the always acquisitive Downtown has already announced its next big buy, South Africa-based Sheer Music Publishing.

Downtown says that its deal with the largest independent music publisher in Africa builds on a “on a long-standing relationship” between the two companies and “formally expands its geographic footprint to the African continent, while also providing the African music industry greater access to artist and label services available through Downtown”.

That means Downtown – via its new African division – making the services of its subsidiary companies CD Baby, Songtrust and FUGA available to artists, songwriters and rightsholders who are based in the various increasingly important markets across the African continent.

Commenting on the potential of those various emerging music markets in Africa, Sheer MD David Alexander said: “Africa is a high potential market for digital music services due to its large population, high proportion of youth and the people’s passion for music of all genres. The rapid penetration of broadband services along with lower data price points makes the African continent a rising star in the music business of tomorrow”.

Meanwhile, on the new deal with Downtown, Alexander added: “We are excited to grow our current relationship with Downtown to leverage their strong team, services and technology to elevate the thriving African music culture beyond the continent to the rest of the world, and return significant value to African creators”.

Downtown boss Justin Kalifowitz added: “For Downtown, as we’ve expanded across six continents and more than 20 cities, looking to markets that have a rich tradition of music is a key driver in our global strategy. The vibrant music industry across Africa reflects the diversity of the continent itself”.

“We are excited to collaborate with Sheer Music Publishing to expand the artist and label services available to African creators, and further support Downtown’s vision to create a more equitable and innovative global music ecosystem”, he went on. “David and the entire Sheer team have built a remarkable business that, as we’ve witnessed first-hand, places tremendous value on its clients and the creative works they represent. We are genuinely THRILLED to welcome them to Downtown and excited for what lies ahead”.