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Ector Hired to Lead Downtown’s Licensing Work

As the acquisitions of music catalogs has soared, Downtown Music Holdings has hired Dewayne Ector as its Chief Revenue Officer, a newly created position, to oversee digital licensing.

In his new role, Ector will be responsible for overseeing the successful negotiation and maximization of revenue from digital licenses covering all rights types represented across Downtown’s business units. Ector’s appointment follows a successful tenure leading partner relations and income tracking for Downtown-owned subsidiary SongTrust, a leading technology solution for global music publishing royalty collection and administration.

“Establishing a group-wide strategy for digital licensing with DSPs and other pay sources has long been part of Downtown’s plan to support our continued growth and efforts to scale our business globally,” said Downtown CEO Justin Kalifowitz. “Dewayne’s knowledge and command of the complicated global royalties landscape and his commitment to both clients and colleagues make him ideal for this important role.

“Beyond streaming, there are an increasing number of new services and platforms that rely on music, and it is important our group-wide approach considers the full range of clients we represent,” he added.  “I’m excited to welcome Dewayne to our global leadership team and I am confident he will continue to work towards a more equitable music industry for all.”

Ector says he’s excited to move into his new role with Downtown. “I couldn’t be more honoured and humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the digital use of songs belonging to Downtown’s diverse and ever increasing clientele across the entire group are properly valued,” said Ector. “Our collective mission of working towards a more equitable music industry is fully aligned with my own core values. Both internally and externally, the lovely folks that I have the pleasure of calling colleagues across the Downtown enterprise actively demonstrate their commitment towards that shared vision.”

Under Ector’s leadership as Global Head of Partner Relations and Income Tracking for Songtrust, the company has expanded its direct affiliations to 60 different collection societies and rights organizations covering royalty collections in 216 different countries, or roughly 90% of the globe. Additionally, royalty payments to Songtrust clients have also significantly increased under Ector. Prior to joining Songtrust in early 2019, Ector previously served as Head of International for the digital mechanical and performing rights society AMRA, and spent eight years with PRS for Music in the U.K. With more than 20 years of experience in the music industry, he began his career working as a producer and studio engineer across the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Ector will continue to be based in London. He will be reporting to and working closely with Downtown’s Chief Commercial Officer Tracy Maddux.

This appointment comes following unprecedented worldwide growth for Downtown. In 2020 alone, the company made several key acquisitions, including the global music distribution and analytics firm FUGA℠, the France-based audio fingerprinting technology company Simbals, and Africa’s largest independent music publisher Sheer Publishing Africa. Additionally, Downtown acquired the catalogs of both Motown icon Mickey Stevenson and Sia’s longtime co-writer Chris Braide, as well as independent London-based music publisher Good Soldier Songs, including an ongoing deal (that has since been renewed) with The 1975. Also in 2020, the company’s music publishing division announced it had reached a deal to represent the catalog of iconic hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, as well as a record number of client contributions to works nominated at the upcoming 63rd Annual GRAMMY® Awards.

The industry itself is also going through an unprecedented period in which music catalogs from well established artists are being snapped up for record sums, increasing by more than 2000 per cent from 2015 to 2019, with 2020 shaping up to be a record year thanks to landmark deals with Bob Dylan, Imagine Dragons, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, The Killers, and many more.

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