Downtown Launches Royalties and Financial Services Division, Sets Sights on ‘Ensuring Every Stream Is Accounted For’

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Curve founder Tom Allen, who’s become president of Downtown Royalties and Financial Services. Photo Credit: Downtown

Less than one week removed from its announcement of a $500 million Bank of America credit facility, Downtown Music has launched a royalties and financial-services division.

The Curve Royalty Systems owner Downtown reached out with word of its just-minted unit today, after naming Pieter van Rijn CEO in April. According to the New York City-based company, Curve’s platform is set to power the new division’s royalty processing, with accounting services and payments also part of the operation.

Leading that operation is Curve founder Tom Allen, who’s specifically been tapped to serve as president of Downtown Royalties and Financial Services. Meanwhile, Curve general manager Richard Leach has been elevated to managing director, a bolstered position that will see him “oversee the day-to-day management” of Curve. Leach will report to Allen, who will himself report to Downtown chief business officer David Driessen.

“Downtown Royalties and Financial Services is both a commitment to the expansion of our core offering into deeper services and solving payment problems to our customers,” Driessen said, “and to simplifying the financial complexities that artists and businesses across the industry face daily.

“Tom’s leadership at Curve has already elevated the industry standard for royalty management and financial services. His expertise will be crucial as he guides this new division at Downtown,” proceeded the former FUGA higher-up.

Elaborating on the motivation behind the buildout, Downtown emphasized the north of 1,000 labels and publishers, among them Domino, Epitaph, Armada, and Big Machine, that Curve (and now Downtown Royalties and Financial Services) already counts as clients.

Downtown proper boasts in excess of “5,000 business clients and 4 million artist relations,” according to the Spirit Music-partnered business.

“In 2023 alone,” Allen added, “Curve clients generated hundreds of billions of streams across major streaming platforms. We’re committed to expanding our full services offering to report and pay their earnings efficiently, ensuring every stream is accounted for.

“Downtown Royalties and Financial Services is the next phase of our vision, with our services and payments divisions, and even though I will continue to oversee Curve, it feels great to be able to leave the day-to-day management and growth of the platform in Richard’s hands,” finished the Metable founder.

Regarding the goal of “ensuring every stream is accounted for,” against the backdrop of a rapid play-volume expansion, data recently revealed that 16 percent of DSP streaming statements are “suspicious” – a descriptor that refers to more than fraud. Last month, we took a detailed look at how leading platforms stack up when it comes to accurate reporting and payments.