People: Justin Kalifowitz

Justin KalifowitzCEO, Downtown Music Holdings

Justin Kalifowitz is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Downtown Music Holdings.

Founded in 2007, Downtown’s portfolio of companies include Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust, CD Baby, Soundrop, DashGo, AdRev, FUGA and Downtown Music Studios.

Downtown manages millions of music copyrights, with a catalog that spans nearly 100 years of popular music, including music for film and television, and what the company claims is the single largest independent sound recording catalog in the industry.

Downtown Music Publishing represents songwriting copyrights from John Lennon to Yoko Ono, Ray Davies, Randy Newman, Hans Zimmer and One Direction.

Prior to founding Downtown, New York-based Kalifowitz served as Head of A&R at independent music publisher, Spirit Music Group between 2001 and 2006.

There, he worked with the catalogs of artists such as Bob Marley, Lou Reed and Chaka Khan.

“If those of us who have been entrusted by songwriters to protect their rights and develop new creative opportunities don’t vigilantly advocate alongside creators, who will?”

Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown Music Holdings

Prior to Spirit, Kalifowitz worked as an A&R executive at Virgin Records and before that, he worked in an International Marketing role at RCA Music Group.

During an interview with Music Business Worldwide in 2015, Kalifowitz said that he was “very bullish” about the future of music publishing.

“Much of the world is only starting to pick up on music publishing through efficient collection society mechanisms, not to mention laws,” he said.

“When you think about the fact that less than one sixth of the world’s population currently lives in places where music publishing as an industry is mature, that’s a very exciting proposition.”

In an op/ed for Music Business Worldwide in 2019, Kalifowitz called on his fellow publishers to petition digital service providers and media partners for more visibility for songwriters on their platforms.

“This recognition would not only bring them much deserved notoriety, but would meaningfully impact our legislative initiatives in Washington D.C. and Brussels (and maybe, one day, Beijing) to ultimately result in fair and just compensation for their extraordinary work,” he wrote.

“After all, if those of us who have been entrusted by songwriters to protect their rights and develop new creative opportunities don’t vigilantly advocate alongside creators, who will?”Music Business Worldwide

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