Downtown Music Holdings has acquired Sheer Publishing Africa. The acquisition expands the American company’s footprint in Africa and further supports its mission to create a more global equitable music ecosystem that contributes to a thriving global creative class, it said.
The South Africa-based Sheer Publishing will continue to operate as a standalone business and will maintain its current independent royalty platform service to existing international publishers for sub-publishing in Africa.
“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,” Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz said. “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.”
Downtown is expected to help provide the African music industry with greater access to artists, labels and monetisation services. As part of the acquisition, Downtown will enable access to new markets for African creators and partners, positioning the many styles of African music for film, television and advertising placements around the world, along with a global A&R team to facilitate cross-cultural collaborations.
Sheer Publishing managing director David Alexander 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.”
Downtown said the acquisition would enable Sheer to further its ability to ensure that African creators receive proper compensation for their works by adapting global best practices on data-matching techniques and income tracking.
“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,” Kalifowitz said. “We are genuinely thrilled to welcome them to Downtown and excited for what lies ahead.”
Sheer was founded in 1996 and has established relationships with collection societies around the world. It is a direct member of Africa-based royalty collection entities, including the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (South Africa), the Music Copyright Society of Kenya and the Copyright Society of Nigeria.