Music

Downtown Launches Curve Royalty Services

Downtown Music launched Curve Royalty Services on Thursday for labels, publishers, and distributors that are hoping to find a third party to handle the laborious work of accounting on their behalf. Downtown had previously acquired the company Curve Royalty Systems in 2023.

“It has always been our goal to make royalties better and easier,” Richard Leach, managing director at Curve, said in a statement. “Now our royalty services team can take on those parts of the process [that] clients would like to outsource.”

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Curve was launched in 2019. “We ingest data from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, any physical distributors, 1,000+ different sources,” co-founder Tom Allen explained in 2022. “We then allow labels and publishers to input the contract details, and we output the artist statements.”

“In its simplest form,” he added, “it is just a bit of math.” 

But it can be a lot of math in the streaming era. Back in 2012, when streaming services began acquiring more users, “statements that we were used to seeing, maybe we would hit hundreds of thousands of lines on a statement, and you could still manage that on Excel,” Leach added in the same interview. “Suddenly we were getting millions and millions of lines of data every month. Anyone who’s familiar with Excel knows it collapses at a million lines.” 

In this new landscape, some labels and distributors were “really struggling,” Leach continued. “And that was really the genesis for Curve. We struggled to find the software to deal with the scale. Suddenly processes were taking days instead of hours. We couldn’t find a solution” — until “Tom thought he’d have a crack at building it.” 

Curve expanded into the U.S. in 2021. The following year, the company said it processed close to $1 billion in revenue. It currently serves around 1,500 clients, including notable independent labels like Domino, Epitaph, and Armada. 

Downtown acquired Curve in January 2023. “We have been admirers of the technology and service quality that Tom and Richard have been building,” Downtown CEO Andrew Bergman said at the time.

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