Downtown Music Acquires Four-Year-Old Curve Royalty Systems, Announces Integration Plans

Downtown Music layoffs
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Downtown Music layoffs
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Photo Credit: Downtown Music

Less than two months after backing music networking platform Vampr, Downtown Music Holdings has officially acquired four-year-old royalty processor Curve Royalty Systems.

New York City-headquartered Downtown unveiled its buyout of London-based Curve this morning. Founded by former Essential Music and Marketing higher-up Tom Allen, former ADA digital-sales director Richard Leach, and The Music Royalty Company managing director Ray Bush, Curve bills itself as a “preeminent royalty processing platform.”

Under the newly finalized purchase, Downtown is expected to equip Curve with “expanded resources, infrastructure, and global scale,” according to execs. Meanwhile, the just-sold company will continue to service existing clients, Epitaph Records, Ingrooves, and Cooking Vinyl among them, as it’s integrated into Downtown, the involved parties indicated.

In total, these clients include north of 1,000 labels and publishers, according to Curve, which claims to have processed close to $1 billion in revenue across 2.3 billion lines of data last year.

Though the transaction’s financial terms don’t appear to have been publicly identified – precise ownership details are likewise absent from the businesses’ release – Leach in a LinkedIn post disclosed that the beatBread investor Downtown had “fully acquired” Curve.

And in a post of his own, Downtown chief commercial officer (and former CD Baby CEO) Tracy Maddux wrote in part: “We’re pleased to welcome Curve Royalty Systems, Tom Allen and Richard Leach to the Downtown Music Services team.”

Of course, Bush’s name is absent from the message, and the FatCat Records finance director’s LinkedIn profile shows that his time with Curve concluded in December of 2022. Similarly, Downtown CEO Andrew Bergman didn’t mention Bush when addressing the Curve deal in a statement.

“For some time, we have been admirers of the technology and service quality that Tom and Richard have been building at Curve,” said Bergman, whose company’s FUGA subsidiary is partnered with Beggars Group.

“As we got to know them and their team, it became ever more obvious that their dedication and forward-thinking vision were a great fit for Downtown,” continued Bergman. “Accuracy, precision, timeliness, and innovation in royalty services are core to Downtown’s mission of supporting creators and the businesses that serve them.”

“Over the course of our discussions,” Curve co-founder Tom Allen added in part, “it became apparent that we had a shared vision – Downtown provides real value for their customers and focuses on providing best-in-class products and services. That’s exactly what we’ve tried to achieve with Curve. So, when the opportunity came to work together, we knew this was a perfect fit for our team and client base.