Downtown (company)

Industry Music Publishing
Founded 2007 (2007)
Founder Justin Kalifowitz
Headquarters New York City, United States
Area served
Key people
  • Justin Kalifowitz (CEO)
  • Andrew Bergman (COO/General Counsel)
  • Alan Goodstadt (CFO)
Services Music rights management
Divisions Downtown Music Publishing
Downtown Music Studios
Neighbouring Rights

Downtown is a global independent rights management and music services company. Based in New York City, it is composed of four divisions: Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust, Downtown Music Studios, and Neighbouring Rights. In addition to its New York headquarters, Downtown has offices in Nashville, Los Angeles, London, and Amsterdam.[1] [2]

Downtown Music Publishing owns and/or administers works by songwriter-artists including The Beatles, Hans Zimmer, Bruce Springsteen, Motley Crue, and One Direction and represents publishing catalogs such as Cy Coleman's Notable Music Co. Inc. (US), Edizioni Curci (Italy), Kassner Music (UK) and Budde Music (Germany). Through Songtrust, it provides global royalty collection from more than 90 countries and 20,000 unique income sources worldwide. It also operates Downtown Music Studios, a recording facility in Soho, New York.[3] [4][5][6]


Downtown was founded as Downtown Music Publishing in 2007 by Justin Kalifowitz in New York. The business model was developed to address the consolidation of the music publishing industry as well as the new technologies which impacted songwriters and copyright holder. Downtown Music Studios opened in 2008.[2][7][8]In 2011, Downtown formally launched Songtrust as a business unit, extending the company's royalty collection platform capabilities beyond the parent publishing company. Neighboring Rights was established in 2016.[9]

In 2013, Downtown expanded its offices to Los Angeles.[10] In early 2014, the company expanded to Nashville and later that year founded Downtown Music Benelux. Based in Amsterdam, Downtown Music Benelux was established in collaboration with Hot Streak Music, a division of Cloud 9 Music. In 2015, following the acquisition of the London-based music publisher Eagle-i Music, Downtown UK was founded.[11]


Downtown Music Publishing

The publishing division, ranked in Billboard's Music Publishing Top 10, is Downtown's primary focus. In addition to administering copyrights, Downtown Music Publishing's services include royalty collection, songwriter development, catalog marketing, neighbouring rights, and financing services. It arranges co-writing opportunities and places its songwriter's compositions in film, television, advertising, and video game productions. Downtown writers have written hit songs for artists including Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Rihanna, and Selena Gomez, and, among others, their compositions have been used in the Hunger Games series, Girls, and Grand Theft Auto.[12] Brands that have featured spots from Downtown writers include the NFL, Coca Cola, Apple Inc, Budweiser and Amazon.[13]

Downtown has formed partnerships with digital service providers including YouTube, Pandora Radio and LyricFind to directly process data and payments owed to songwriters and publishers. It provides analysis for songwriters, managers, and lawyers, allowing writers to review and export statements, see their account balance, create reports for different periods by income over different territories, and access details of each royalty line.[14][15]

In 2016, Downtown Music Publishing was nominated for Music Business Worldwide's Publisher of the Year Award. The company appeared on the Billboard 2014 list of the Top 10 Publishers.[16][17]


Songtrust is a global music rights management software platform. Launched in 2011, it services Downtown’s catalog and provides royalty collection services for global distributors such as CD Baby and The Orchard. The platform enables creators at all levels to recover their royalties directly from over 90 countries and from more than 20,000 unique income sources worldwide.[18][9][19]

Downtown Music Studios

Downtown Music Studios is a two studio recording facility located in SoHo, Manhattan. Opened in 2008, the studios were designed by Martin Pilchner and are overseen by chief engineer Zach Hancock.

Neighbouring Rights

Through its direct affiliations with sound recording performance rights services, Downtown formally launched a Neighbouring Rights offering globally in 2016. The division enables Downtown to make certain that artists are compensated when the recorded performance of their songs are performed in public on satellite and online radio services such as Pandora.[4]


Downtown’s executives sit on the board of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in the United States, an organization which safeguards and promotes the interests of music publishers and songwriters to government bodies, the music industry, the media, and the public. Additionally, the company recently teamed with the Berklee College of Music's Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) to collaborate on the Open Music Initiative in an effort to achieve fair payment for songwriters through digital licensing.[20]

Kalifowitz is a co-founder of NY is Music, a coalition of over 200 organizations advancing the importance of music in economic development, culture, and education across the state. NY is Music is credited with the passage of the 2015 New York State Tax Credit for Music production.[21]

Partial Downtown Music Publishing roster

  • Andrew Wyatt
  • The Beatles
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Budde Music
  • Carla Bruni
  • Cold War Kids
  • Cy Coleman
  • Edizioni Curci
  • Fania Records
  • Hans Zimmer
  • Hardwell
  • Imogen Heap
  • John Lennon
  • Kassner Music
  • The Kinks
  • Mötley Crüe
  • Mike Snow
  • Neon Trees
  • One Direction
  • Rock Mafia
  • Santigold
  • Shea Taylor
  • Sturgill Simpson
  • Trevor Rabin
  • Tyler Glenn
  • Yoko Ono

Further reading


  1. Aswad, Jem (January 24, 2013). "Downtown Sells Label to Cofounders, Focuses on Publishing". Billboard. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  2. 1 2 Mansfield, Brian (January 3, 2016). "Downtown Music Justin Kalifowitz Talks Publishing, Big Ideas For 2016". Hypebot. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  3. Cooke, Chris and, Malt, Andy (March 1, 2016). "CMU's One Liners:". CMU. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  4. 1 2 Nicholson, Jessica (February 29, 2016). "Downtown Music Publishing Launches Neighbouring Rights Division". Music Row. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  5. Ingham, Tim (July 20, 2015). "DOWNTOWN MUSIC PUBLISHING TO REPRESENT FANIA CATALOGUE WORLDWIDE". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  6. "Downtown Music Studios" (Independent Studio Directory). Studio Filter. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  7. Ingham, Tim (December 12, 2015). "Are Music Publishers Getting a Raw Deal in the Streaming Age?". Music Business Week. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  8. Kennedy, John (December 1, 2006). "Digital Music in 2007: A Brave New World" (PDF). Digital Music Report. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  9. 1 2 Davis, Inman (February 1, 2011). "A New Frontier In Music Publishing". American Songwriter. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  10. Peters, Mitchell (August 14, 2013). "Downtown Music Publishing Expands to West Coast, Names Amy Driscoll-Dunning Senior VP". Billboard. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  11. Christman, Ed (May 20, 2015). "Downtown Music Publishing Acquires Eagle-i Music, Home of Jeff Healey, Deep Purple & Others". Billboard. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  12. Weiss, David (January 6, 2013). "The API and the iPad: Radical Routing Arrives at Downtown Music Studios". Sonic Scoop. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  13. Christman, Ed (October 21, 2013). "Beatles Go Downtown: Fab Four Classics Go to Indie Music Publisher (Exclusive)". Billboard Biz. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  14. Peoples, Glenn (December 21, 2015). "Pandora's Latest Direct Deal Is with Downtown Music Publishing". Billboard. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  15. MBW Staff (April 13, 2016). "DOWNTOWN MUSIC PUBLISHING INKS DIRECT YOUTUBE PERFORMANCE DEAL". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  16. "The A&R Awards". The A&R Awards/MBW. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  17. Christman, Ed (May 12, 2014). "First-Quarter Music Publishing Rankings: SONGS Surges Again". Billboard. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  18. Lindvall, Helianne (May 6, 2011). "Behind the music: In praise of Songtrust". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  19. MBW (May 12, 2015). "CD BABY LAUNCHES PUBLISHING ADMIN SERVICE IN THE UK". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  20. Grow, Kory (June 13, 2016). "Music Royalties Initiative Unites YouTube, Spotify, Labels". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  21. Moorfoot, Addie (June 27, 2016). "State legislature passes music production tax credit". Crain's. Retrieved 22 October 2016.

External links

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