Downtown steps up African presence with Sheer acquisition

Downtown steps up African presence with Sheer acquisition

Downtown Music Holdings has stepped up its African presence by acquiring South Africa-based Sheer Music Publishing.

Downtown’s publishing arm has worked with Sheer for several years, and the new deal is designed to both expand its footprint geographically and offer the African business its artist and label services.

Founded in 1996, Sheer is the largest independent publisher in Africa and will function as a standalone business within Downtown’s portfolio. It will focus on improving compensation for the region’s songwriters in partnership with Downtown companies including CD Baby, Songtrust and Fuga. New services will be developed specifically for Africa.

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.”

Justin Kalifowitz, CEO of Downtown, said: “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.”

He added: “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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