Downtown Music Holdings has signed a deal to acquire AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of music distribution, rights management and artist services businesses, including AdRev, CD Baby, DashGo and Soundrop.
As a result of the acquisition by the parent company of the publisher and Songtrust, Downtown will become a 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 14 markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America.
AVL, which was a launch partner for iTunes in 2003, has a diverse client base that includes over 900,000 artists, labels and other rights holders. It claims the largest independent sound recording catalogue in the music industry. AVL’s portfolio companies distribute more than 10 million tracks across leading streaming services, including Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube.
AVL will be led by CD Baby’s CEO Tracy Maddux, based in Portland, Oregon.
This transaction will allow us to take the services we offer the independent music community to the next level
“Tracy and his team have built a portfolio of music businesses operating at unmatched scale,” said Downtown founder and CEO Justin Kalifowitz. “AVL’s technology, diverse offerings and artist-first approach are well-positioned to power some of the fastest growing segments of the industry ”
“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.”
“Beyond shared values, the acquisition of AVL expands upon our existing portfolio and represents Downtown’s strategy of developing and investing in pre-eminent music businesses serving the full spectrum of music creators,” said Kalifowitz.
Following the acquisition, which is expected to close in early April, 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 M cDermott Will & Emery. Advisors for AVL included Stephens In., The Raine Group and Offit Kurman.