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Music Industry

Downtown Music Publishing

Photograph of the blog post author, Music Gateway Team

Music Gateway Team


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Downtown Music Publishing is not necessarily a household name. However, their roster certainly includes some of the most famous names in the music industry. The Downtown Music Publishing catalog is extensive with the likes of The Beatles, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Hans Zimmer, The Kinks, Mötley Crüe, and One Direction to name a few. It would seem they are doing something right to have such a line up!

The Downtown music publishing logo.

In this article, we will go through what Downtown Music Publishing does, its pricing, and look at some alternatives.

Be sure to stay tuned until the very end so you don’t miss out on any key information!

What Is Downtown Music Publishing?

Downtown music publishing logo with vinyls in the back.

Downtown Music Publishing LLC was founded in 2007 by CEO Justin Kalifowitz and based in New York. They are a music publishing company that offers licensing opportunities, media partnerships, advertising, co-writing collaborations, and much more.

Downtown Music Publishing group has grown from a one-man operation to a staff of 46 employees, with recently opened offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, London and Amsterdam. Its exponential growth over recent years is thanks to technological innovations in royalty collection. They also share our passion for developing artistic talent!

What Does Downtown Publishing Do?

Founder Justin Kalfowitz has stated, ‘Our goal was to create a full-service music publisher that didn’t have any of the drama or legacy issues of those older companies. And that is exactly what he did. 

They have direct relationships with digital streaming providers like Spotify, Amazon, and Google to bring efficiency and transparency to royalty payments. Their goal in mind is to reduce client lag time to receive compensation.

Want to learn more about what Downtown Music Publishing does? Then keep reading!

Downtown Music Publishing A&R

The Downtown music publishing team.

Like all great music publishers, Downtown Music has a great A&R department. They are involved in scouting and signing new artists, songwriters, and producers.

Additionally, they create opportunities for Downtown clients and copyrights in the global marketplace.

Sync Licensing

A TV with a music note inside.

Downtown Music Publishing’s reputation for sync is excellent. It has a fantastic track record for placing songs for sync licenses in TV, films, and commercials.  Their excellent sync services proved an early indicator of Downtown’s exceptional ability to increase the value of its clients’ catalogs. This means they are a great bet for you if you wish to have your music included in TV, films, or commercials!

Before the inception of Downtown Music Publishing New York, sync licensing was not at the forefront of the publisher’s job. However, Downtown’s incredible team had prior experience with sync licensing and made it their priority to improve the industry in that aspect. 


The Songtrust logo.

In 2011, Kalifowitz launched Songtrust with Joe Conyers. Their goal was to bring the previously analog and unreliable process of global royalty collection into the 21st century. 

Songtrust democratizes music publishing so that anyone can sign up for an account. You can collect your royalties in an easy-to-use, self-service platform. They created all the technology in-house which they now supply to other businesses. 

This makes your royalty collection extremely easy so you can focus on enjoying and playing your music!


The dms.FM logo.

Akin to their ethos when creating Songtrust, Downtown Music Publishing Nashville TN developed DMS.FM out of a belief that the traditional approach to music licensing wasn’t meeting the demands of the modern music business.

Music supervisors typically faced a choice between cheap, easy-to-license music from unknown artists, and expensive, difficult-to-license music from popular acts. 

However, dms.FM established a one-of-a-kind middle ground by creating a catalog of readily available songs exclusively created for the licensing community. They make music available in a format that makes it easy for music supervisors to find what they need. 

Music & Strategy 

A man considering how to mix his music.

With Music and Strategy, Kalifowitz expanded the concept, recognizing the ever-growing importance of music for ad agencies and brands. Kaliowitz partnered with Jim Black to develop Music and Strategy which is now one of the top music houses and original composition firms in New York. 

The company helps top brands like Nikon navigate the industry and reach their consumers through music. They aid with consulting on dozens of major commercials every week.

Downtown Publishing Pricing

A man using google pay on his phone.

Downtown Publishing’s Songtrust service has a $100 dollar one-time registration fee per songwriter

Additionally, Songtrust takes a 15% commission on all royalties they collect on your behalf. However, Songtrust does not take any sync rights, so clients are free to procure licensing opportunities as they see fit. 

While this is reasonably priced in the current market, there are some more affordable options.

Alternatives To Downtown Publishing

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the alternatives to Downtown Publishing. 

Concord Music

Concord Music Publishing logo.

Concord has a catalog of over 12,000 active music albums and 390,000 copyrighted works. They specialize in all musical genres and also deal with theatrical musical works. Their roster includes artists such as Common, Evanescence, Esperanza Spalding, Ghost, Elvis Costello, and many more. 

Like Downtown, BMI, and Universal, Concord has a vast music vista in terms of the artists that they work with, which makes them a company that you would love to be a part of.

As with Downtown, unsolicited material is not accepted and is difficult to get on their radar. It would be a good idea to give them a call and ask them what would be the best way to send your material, or if they are looking for new artists to add to their catalog.

Universal Music

Universal Music Group logo.

Universal Music Publishing is a publishing company from a major record label. They represent an eclectic list of artists, such as Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine, Adele, Ariana Grande, Post Malone, and Taylor Swift.

Their main selling point is that they invest heavily in their artists at every stage of their careers. Additionally, they strive to provide the most creative and commercial opportunities possible. 

Furthermore, they provide UMG artists with the latest technology to keep track of the performances of their music, both financially and from a marketing perspective. UMG says they do this through ongoing investment in this area. They find transparency and access to updates important.

Similarly to Downtown Publishing, it is difficult to get onto their radar. There is no direct form to fill in for Universal as they don’t openly look for new artists to sign. If you can somehow get in touch with someone from the company, find out if they are looking for artists to represent and if so, who would be the best person to send your work to. 

Мusic Gateway

The Мusic Gateway logo.

Мusic Gateway has a number of other really great services that they offer our members. This includes submission to Record Label A&R (both for artists looking for deals and for songwriters looking to place their songs with artists) and even free digital music distribution! 

We also offer services such as Music Management, Artist Promotion, Career Development, Mastering. On top of this, we have Artist Sites, a place where artists can build an online showcase of themselves.

On Мusic Gateway, you can manage and store all of your recordings and assets securely in one place. Metadata and rights management are all handled within your private account database. You can assign song data (works) to files and add ID3 metadata information to your files. 

Furthermore, our inclusive audio library search tool gives you full flexibility to manage your music and add files to the integrated playlist creator, streamlining the whole curation process.

Мusic Gateway is also an established sync licensing agent. We work directly with music supervisors, broadcasters, TV production companies, advertising agents, and games publishers worldwide licensing music and earning our rights holders revenue. 

Мusic Gateway offers a simple rolling monthly contract with quarterly royalty payouts and in-depth royalty statements. What’s more, there are no upfront fees and you keep up to 95% of your royalty income! Compared to Downtown Music Publishing, this is a no-brainer as you get to keep more of your royalties as well as avoid a hefty upfront fee.

Also, unlike Мusic Gateway, Downtown Publishing doesn’t accept what is considered ‘unsolicited submissions of material’. This means that they only accept music that they have requested.

With an abundance of features, it is clear that Мusic Gateway is the better choice. With no upfront cost and you get to keep more of your royalties. Biased as we may be, the facts indicate you’re better off going with us! 

That Was Our Downtown Publishing Review

Downtown music publishing team.

So there we have it! We have discussed everything Downtown Music Publishing. We have look at a bit of the company’s rich history and we’ve gone through their Songtrust platform which streamlines royalty collection. Additionally we have looked at their pricing for artists looking to publish their music. 

While their service is great and competitively priced, it is slightly dearer than Мusic Gateways publishing services. Additionally, Мusic Gateway offers a plethora of additional services on the platform. This makes us the more versatile platform as opposed to Downtown and their Songtrust service. 

We hope that you enjoyed this article! Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more guides on our blog? We have articles such as What Are Music Licensing Fees, a Beginner’s Guide To Sync Licensing, What Are Royalties In Music? and so much more


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