Downtown Music Holdings has sold its publishing library of 145,000 songs, including tracks by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and more, to Concord Music Group.
It’s the latest example of the sale of a large music catalog as the industry has seen a flurry of sales for record multiples. But instead of an artist directly selling their own music library to a private group, another company is now getting out of the music ownership business entirely at a point when the market could be nearing its peak. After the sale, Downtown will now focus exclusively on music services, including publishing administration and its label services division, DashGo.
Concord as a result of the acquisition brings its controlled music assets to roughly 600,000 songs. The tracks from Downtown were developed or acquired by Downtown over the past 14 years, and Downtown will continue collecting royalties for the copyrights through the end of 2021.
The catalog purchase includes songs such as “Green Onions,” “Dancing In the Streets,” “Runaway,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Change the World,” “Moves Like Jagger,” “Halo,” “Stay With Me” and “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.”
Some of the artists’ work included in the deal includes songs by Adele, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Blake Shelton, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Maroon 5, Marvin Gaye, Mary J. Blige, Mos Def, Mötley Crüe, New Order, Rage Against the Machine, Ray Charles, Santigold, Sam Smith, Stevie Wonder, and The 1975, among many others. It also includes hits by K-Pop and J-Pop artists, 30 years of French pop music staples and a repertoire spanning some two dozen languages.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Downtown will retain its complete roster of publishing administration clients, including the estate of George Gershwin, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Miles Davis, John Prine, Wu-Tang Clan, Ryan Tedder/OneRepublic and others. And proceeds from the deal will be invested back into Downtown.
“Concord is an excellent home for this extraordinary catalog that we’ve had the unique privilege to build over the past 14 years. Not only does Concord recognize the value of these works, but this transaction further demonstrates the true strength of the modern independent music sector,” Downtown founder and CEO Justin Kalifowitz said in a statement.
“The incredible catalog of songs is an excellent complement to the timeless and valuable copyrights upon which Concord has built a successful business,” Concord’s chief publishing executive Jim Selby said in a statement. “Our global publishing team is honored to now represent these songwriters and their works to the world.”
The Raine Group acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Downtown on the transaction, with legal counsel from Wilson Chu, Joanna Lin, and Thaddeus Chase, Jr. of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and Jeff Biederman and Beau Stapleton of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. Concord and its affiliates were advised by Steve Sessa and Chris Sheaffer of Reed Smith and Rob Sherman of DLA Piper. Lisbeth R. Barron and the team at Barron International Group, LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Concord on the transaction.