"Though you could hardly pick two more disparate locations, these two music centers (and the broader markets they represent) have quite a bit in common," wrote Downtown Music CEO Justin Kalifowitz in a Medium post explaining the new moves. "They have extraordinary track records of nurturing homegrown songwriting talent who've changed the shape of popular culture; they share strong copyright laws upheld by forward-thinking collective rights management organizations; they are dynamic advertising, media, and technology centers."
In Paris, Downtown has recruited A&R manager Laura Bedikian, creative licensing director Charles Braud and Armel Bernard as copyright coordinator. Braud has spent 12 years in the French music industry and previously worked as head of sync and publishing at Believe Digital.
Meanwhile, in Sydney, 15-year industry veteran Rachel Kelly joins as creative director and head of sync, covering Australia and New Zealand. She previously acted as creative director at BMG Australia, having joined the company as part of the acquisition of Alberts in 2016.
In its announcement, Downtown points to the potential in the France and Australia's local markets as a reason behind this decision: Last year, French collective rights management organization SACEM announced record revenues of €884 million and Australia's APRA AMCOS reported collections were up 16 percent to AUD $386 million.
Added Kalifowitz: "On behalf of everyone at Downtown, I couldn't be more excited to welcome Charles Braud, Laura Bedikian, and Armel Bernard in Paris and Rachel Kelly in Sydney. Working closely with our teams in New York, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Tokyo, we look forward to investing in the next generation of local songwriting talent and helping their music reach the global stage."