In the beginning of the 12 months, Downtown Music Holdings introduced that it had acquired UK-based music know-how firm Curve Royalty Methods.
The transfer was the most recent in a collection of strategic acquisitions made by Downtown lately. The New York-based firm has additionally acquired firms together with B2B music tech and providers platform FUGA and indie distributor CD Child, while making investments within the likes of Beatbread and Vampr.
Curve, based in 2019, serves over 1,000 labels and publishers worldwide and reported processing practically $1 billion of income throughout 2.3 billion traces of information in 2022.
The corporate’s shopper base consists of the likes of Cooking Vinyl Group, the Domino Recording Firm, Hospital Data/Songs within the Key of Knife, Epitaph Data, Warp Data, Ingrooves, Mad First rate, MRC, Royalty Options Corp., Cal Monetary, Alta Fonte and plenty of extra.
With the mud now settled on one of many first huge acquisitions of 2023, co-founder Tom Allen tells MBW concerning the background to the deal and the long run for Curve…
Are you able to give us a refresher on the founding ideas of Curve?
Myself, Ray Bush and Richard Leach had all labored throughout the music business for years and we noticed the necessity to construct a royalty processing platform that might present the infrastructure to deal with the exponential progress of digital music, notably streaming. We had all suffered with the legacy know-how that was available on the market, which simply wasn’t scaling to the real-world necessities of the music business.
So, we launched Curve Royalty Methods in 2019, focussed fully on making a royalty software program constructed for the trendy music business, one which now providers over 1200 shoppers and processed over $1bn in royalties final 12 months alone.
How did the current sale to Downtown come about?
We already knew that Downtown was a powerful firm that had pivoted away from rights possession in the direction of a providers mannequin lately. To help that they made what we thought-about to be quite a few very astute acquisitions in distribution, music publishing, royalty assortment & advertising with the purpose of offering a really robust, all-round proposition to music companies, creators and content material homeowners.
They approached us with a suggestion to deliver Curve into Downtown. Initially, we had been a bit reticent as a result of all of us felt we had one other couple of years of progress in us as a standalone firm. However the likelihood to entry the additional sources they may present to assist us develop the enterprise, together with the chance to work with the opposite divisions inside their group, was actually compelling.
It grew to become clear fairly rapidly simply how seamlessly Curve might slot into the general providing and add actual worth to their new and present shoppers.
The place have you ever seen the advantages of that partnership up to now?
It’s nonetheless early days, however we’ve already began working with the opposite divisions within the group, akin to FUGA, which has been nice, and we’re eager to roll out extra royalty options throughout the corporate.
Downtown have been very hands-off and have trusted us to run the enterprise in the way in which that made us profitable within the first place. So it’s very a lot enterprise as normal for all of our present shoppers, while accessing these additional alternatives, which everybody is absolutely glad about.
Are you implementing any new processes or initiatives within the close to future?
Completely. We’re very excited concerning the work now we have been doing to develop new cellular functions that can make it simpler for artists and songwriters to entry statements from the report labels and music publishers that symbolize them.
We all know that transparency and effectivity are key goals that everybody desires to work in the direction of, so now we have put a whole lot of focus and energy in these areas.
We’re additionally making main upgrades to our music publishing platform, together with automating deliveries to CMOs, updating catalogue administration processes, and providing even higher, extra insightful analytics.
From Curve’s perspective, the place do you see the music business going and are there any modifications coming down the road which may have an effect on your enterprise?
The music business is all the time evolving; it’s an ongoing course of and a part of our job is to anticipate that wherever doable and make sure that we’re prepared to deal with these modifications once they occur.
It’s clear, for instance, that the forms of offers that content material homeowners are doing with artists and songwriters have been shifting extra in the direction of a partnership or providers mannequin for a while, so that’s one thing we’re very a lot maintaining on prime of. Current fashions akin to large-scale catalogue acquisitions are additionally an fascinating and creating space for us and we’re all the time methods we are able to higher serve our shoppers in that space.
However there are probably seismic modifications on the horizon, such because the metaverse, the brand new developments within the blockchain and AI, which might transform the way in which we take into consideration creator music consumption and in the end royalty processing. We will, for instance, see a time within the not-too-distant future after we incorporate AI into our personal know-how to help with insights and forecasting, and that’s one thing we expect is usually a actually optimistic software if utilized correctly.
Curve was based at a time when streaming had radically modified the way in which everybody accessed music and we had been required to discover a resolution to a number of the points that had thrown up. In the end, we are not any strangers to discovering solutions to tough questions and luxuriate in embracing change.
However, having stated all that, our essential focus will all the time be on making certain we offer quick, correct and insightful royalty processing providers that provide worth to all of our shoppers and the artists and songwriters they symbolize.Music Enterprise Worldwide