Downtown Issues New Round of Layoffs as Part of ‘Reorganization’
The cuts hit the company's CD Baby, Downtown Publishing, Songtrust and DMH divisions with many affecting publishing-related roles.
Downtown Music Holdings announced layoffs across the company’s CD Baby, Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust, and Downtown Music Holdings (DMH) divisions on Wednesday (March 22).
Downtown Music Holdings chief executive Andrew Bergman emailed staff early Wednesday to share the news. Notably, many of the lay offs affect those working in publishing roles. Neither the email, which was obtained by Billboard, nor a company representative would confirm how many jobs were affected.
Bergman also noted in the email that there are also “a number of cost-saving measures… underway” already at Downtown apart from the reduction in team size. The Downtown rep also declined to explain what these measures were.
The email labels this downsizing as “reorganization” that “harmonizes the past several years of strategic investments and divestitures.” As detailed in a recent Billboard profile of the firm, Downtown pivoted from a traditional publishing firm with 145,000 songs in its catalog to selling off all intellectual property in favor of repositioning as a service-focused company instead.
To further bolster their service offerings, in the last few years Downtown acquired CD Baby, FUGA, AdRev, Soundrop and DashGo, and then last September announced the combination many of its B2B services under the name “Downtown Music.” Downtown Music now includes staff from FUGA, Downtown Neighbouring Rights, AdRev and Downtown Music Services artist, label services and publishing administration units.
In October, Billboard reported that Downtown’s CD Baby and Soundrop had laid off 28 employees, citing “economic conditions” and “uncertain times” in a company-wide email from chief people officer Love Whelchel.
“This reorganization harmonizes the past several years of strategic investments and divestitures, better positioning us for the future by aligning our talent, resources, technology and services to meet the evolving needs of the music community while at the same time taking into account this period of economic uncertainty,” said a Downtown rep in a statement.
Read the full email to Downtown Music Holdings’ staff below:
Today we’re sharing some difficult news with all of you. Downtown’s management team has made the decision to reduce the size of our team in certain areas of the organization, specifically CD Baby, Publishing, Songtrust and DMH. Later this morning, we will be meeting with those employees and informing them that their roles will be impacted.
Along with reducing our team size overall and a number of cost-saving measures we have underway, we hope to be able to offer and place some impacted members of our team in other positions within Downtown that will give them a chance to apply their skills and expertise in new ways.
This reorganization harmonizes the past several years of strategic investments and divestitures, better positioning us for the future by aligning our talent, resources, technology and services to meet the evolving needs of the music community while at the same time taking into account this period of economic uncertainty.
We are committed to continuing to communicate about our plans, our business performance, and the results of these changes and remain accountable to all of you for the improvements and the long-term health and strength of our work at Downtown.
Our management, people, operations, legal and communications teams have made every effort to manage this process with as much thoughtfulness, consideration and empathy as possible. We will be meeting with all of you in the coming days to share more directly, plans for each division and will be ready to answer any questions you may have.
Additional Reporting by Dan Rys