Downtown forms new division to house global services, headed up by Fuga CEO Pieter van Rijn

Downtown Music Holdings has established a new division to manage its global services for artists and songwriters after months of making key hires across its business.

The New York-based independent rights management and music services firm has five divisions including Downtown Music Services, music publishing platform Songtrust, rights management company Adrev, indie distribution company CD Baby and B2B music tech and services platform Fuga.

Those divisions offer a range of services to more than 2,500 business and professional clients including publishing companies, songwriters and artists, management companies, DIY and distribution platforms, production and gaming companies, and other rights owners.

The company now plans to form a new unit called Downtown Music, that combines all of its global business and professional services including distribution, label and artist services, publishing administration, video and user-generated rights monetization, neighbouring rights, royalty accounting solutions, sync licensing and creative support services.

The move comes as the company seeks to expand to Asia, Africa and certain parts of Europe. In June, Downtown expanded its services to Latin America.

“Downtown is committed to placing the tools of the trade in the hands of those who create the art that we all depend on… Downtown’s new structure offers the most nimble, flexible end-to-end service offering available in the music industry,” Downtown CEO Andrew Bergman said in a press release on Thursday (September 22).

“As we continue to position Downtown as the global leader in music services, this new structure will help us to further empower our artist, label and creator partners around the world.”

Andrew Bergman, Downtown Music

The combination covers Fuga, Downtown Neighbouring Rights, Adrev and Downtown Music Services.

“As we continue to position Downtown as the global leader in music services, this new structure will help us to further empower our artist, label and creator partners around the world,” Bergman added.

Fuga CEO Pieter van Rijn has been appointed to lead the new unit called Downtown Music as President. He joined Downtown in 2020 when the company acquired Fuga for an undisclosed amount. Downtown has yet to name a successor to van Rijn at Fuga.

“Under Pieter’s leadership, Fuga became the industry-leading service provider of services that rights owners need to be successful in the modern music industry and we’re excited for him to bring his vision and energy to this newly integrated division of the company,” Bergman said.

Prior to his stint at Amsterdam-based Fuga, van Rijn started his career as a songwriter signed to Sony Music and went on to consult some of Europe’s largest companies in corporate strategy and M&A, Downtown said.

At Fuga, van Rijn developed the platform’s global expansion, launching new hubs across EMEA, North America, Latin America and APAC regions. Under his leadership, Fuga became a full label-services business offering marketing services, sync, royalty accounting, physical distribution, and audience engagement and insights.

Fuga also became the first B2B distributor to offer automated immersive audio delivery. It started offering comprehensive spatial audio support and automated delivery to Apple Music in September 2021, the first company to do so.

Speaking about Downtown’s new strategy, van Rijn said: “It is such an exciting time to be at Downtown as we shape our offerings into the most potent and strategic music services company in the business today… What we have built and developed at FUGA has grown into the leading partner for independent music companies for distribution, technology, marketing services, analytics and royalty accounting.”

Downtown’s latest strategy follows a string of new appointments in recent months. Earlier this week, the company appointed Love H. Whelchel as its first Chief People Officer to work closely with the company’s leadership on talent acquisition, engagement, training and development, employee experience, infrastructure and organizational design.

The company has more than 600 employees globally.

Less than three months ago, the group promoted Molly Neuman to the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer.

These new roles underscore Downtown’s efforts in expanding its presence in the global music industry.

“Looking at new markets for us to continue to grow such as Asia, Latin America, Africa and specific parts of Europe are also tremendous opportunities we are focused on group-wide,” van Rijn said.Music Business Worldwide

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