Downtown Music Publishing has acquired the catalog of celebrated independent Belgium-born music publisher Strictly Confidential.
The acquisition includes more than 10,000 song copyrights across multiple languages and genres.
Through the acquisition, Downtown will control the rights to Strictly Confidential’s catalog of original music developed from 1987 through 2017.
The acquisition does not include Strictly Confidential’s highly regarded music publishing administration business, which will continue to be operated by its existing management team who will also be separately developing a catalog of new original music.
Established in Brussels in 1987 by Michel Lambot, Kenny Gates, and Pierre Mossiat, Strictly Confidential is one of Europe’s most significant independent music publishing houses.
With affiliated companies and operations in Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom, Strictly Confidential’s catalog includes hit singles across pop, rock, R&B, dance, and world music written and/or recorded by such names as Balkan Beat Box, Bebel Gilberto, Carl Barât, Chromeo, Clarika, Deus, Editors, Élodie Frégé, Felix da Housecat, Jason Derulo, Julien Doré, Junior Jack, Mark Ronson, Olivia Ruiz, Soap&Skin, Staff Benda Bilili, Tom Odell, Vanessa Paradis, and more.
The acquisition of Strictly Confidential comes as Downtown continues to grow its song catalog and roll out global expansion plans.
Speaking exclusively to MBW, Justin Kalifowitz, CEO of Downtown Music Holdings, parent company of Downtown Music Publishing (pictured main), said: “If you’re going to be a global music publisher, that means looking beyond just the Anglo-American markets and investing in local repertoire.”
“If you’re going to be a global music publisher, that means looking beyond just the Anglo-American markets and investing in local repertoire.”
Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown Music Publishing
Downtown Music Holdings recently acquired AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of distribution, rights management and artist services businesses, including AdRev, CD Baby, DashGoTM and Soundrop.
In a live interview at the Great Escape in Brighton, UK last Thursday (May 9), Kalifowitz explained that AVL’s presence in South America made the acquisition of the group of companies all the more appealing.
“That was really appealing to me, that [AVL Digital] have such incredible market expertise and actually real significant market share in places like Brazil and Colombia and increasingly in Mexico – that’s just an area that Downtown hasn’t gotten to yet, so we’re excited to jump on that,” he said, speaking last week.
Last month Downtown also announced that it had secured the administration rights for the catalog of composer George Gershwin, whose song Summertime has seen renditions by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Janis Joplin and others.
Added Kalifowitz: “For more than 30 years, Strictly Confidential has set a gold standard in copyright management and artistic development.
“Building upon Downtown’s investments in the EU and UK, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome this wonderfully diverse song catalog into our global portfolio.
“I want to thank Michel, Kenny, and especially Pierre, who has not only been a close friend but a strong advocate for copyright globally, in entrusting us with these important works.”
“Building Strictly Confidential over the last three decades has been a labour of love for myself, Michel and Pierre, so we are delighted that it has found an amazing new home in Downtown Music Publishing.”
Kenny Gates, Strictly Confidential
Kenny Gates, co-founder of Strictly Confidential, said: “Building Strictly Confidential over the last three decades has been a labour of love for myself, Michel and Pierre, so we are delighted that it has found an amazing new home in Downtown Music Publishing.
“Justin Kalifowitz and his team are passionate about the music and respectful of the legacy, and we feel sure that they are the right people to take the catalogue forward.
“We are equally excited to be launching Strictly Songs as the new home for our music publishing interests and to be continuing our work as sub-publishers to some of the world’s best catalogs, songwriters and composers.”Music Business Worldwide