Downtown Acquires Sheer, Africa's Largest Indie Publisher

Downtown Acquires Sheer, Africa’s Largest Indie Publisher

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NEW YORK / JOHANNESBURG (CelebrityAccess) – Downtown Music Holdings (Downtown), has today (May 18) announced that it has acquired South Africa-based Sheer Music Publishing (Sheer).

Building on a long-standing relationship between Sheer and Downtown’s music publishing division, this acquisition formally expands the company’s geographic footprint to the African continent, while also providing the African music industry greater access to artist and label services available through Downtown.

Sheer, the largest independent music publisher in Africa and a longstanding advocate for creators’ rights across Africa, will continue to function as a standalone business within Downtown’s portfolio of music publishing, distribution, monetization, artist and label services businesses. As part of a broader enterprise, Sheer will further the ability of African creators to receive proper compensation for their work in partnership with other Downtown companies, including CD Baby, Songtrust and FUGA. Additionally, Sheer and Downtown plan to develop new services specifically designed for the needs of African creators.

David Alexander, managing director of Sheer, 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. 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.”

Sheer will maintain its current independent royalty platform to service its existing international publishers for sub-publishing in Africa, and will adapt global best practices on data matching techniques and income tracking to better serve its clients. The company will also gain new market access for its African clients, positioning the many styles of African music for film, television and advertising placements around the world, along with a strong global A&R team to facilitate cross-cultural collaborations.

Justin Kalifowitz, CEO of Downtown, 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. 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.”

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