Press Clipping
Downtown Music snaps up CD Baby as part of AVL acquisition

Downtown Music Publishing’s parent firm is acquiring AVL Digital Group, the company that includes distributors CD Baby, DashGo and Soundrop, as well as video-monetisation outfit AdRev.

In its announcement of the deal, Downtown noted that AVL’s companies work with more than 900k artists, labels and rightsholders, while distributing / making money for more than 10m tracks in the digital-music world.

The acquisition is expected to close in April, and while Downtown didn’t reveal a figure, MBW’s sources suggest that it could be a $200m transaction.

It’s not buying AVL’s physical-product divisions Disc Makers, BookBaby and Merchly: they’re being bought out by the Disc Makers management to form a separate company, although they’ll still work closely with AVL’s digital teams under Downtown (for example: for artists offering digital and physical music / products).

CD Baby is the element making most headlines this morning: the distributor recently announced that it generated “well over” $100m of earnings for its clients in 2018, representing year-on-year growth of 25%.

The acquisition news is the latest example of consolidation in the music-distribution market: although unusually for recent history, it will see an independent distributor staying independent, rather than being bought by a major label.