Rachel Kelly has departed from Downtown Music Publishing, the Sydney-based affiliate she established in 2018.

In its first year under Kelly’s guidance, the local arm enjoyed successes with Stella Donnelly, Little Quirks, Taka Perry, Elliot and John Butler Trio, whose LP Home blasted to No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart (another homegrown act, Teskey Brothers, was signed by Daniel Lloyd Jones in the U.K. office). 

Kelly’s strong start was rewarded with entry in Billboard’s International Power Players List for 2019.

At Downtown, Kelly served as creative director and head of sync in Australia and New Zealand, with duties for launching and promoting the company’s brand and catalogue across ANZ, signing and developing local songwriters, artists, and producers, and more efficiently collecting songwriting royalties.

downtown music publishing

Prior to establishing the global rights-management specialist’s presence Down Under, Kelly was creative director at BMG Australia.

The publishing veteran’s departure follows the announcement of massive changes at the local affiliate of the New York-based music company.

On April 26, news broke of Downtown’s sale of its portfolio of 145,000 owned and co-published music copyrights to Concord.

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A separate statement on the same day revealed that Downtown Music Holdings would switch gears and focus exclusively on the music services sector.

To do this, the company launched Downtown Music Services, a new division, which would couple the services of Downtown Music Publishing (led by Mike Smith) and Downtown’s DashGo (whose Founder and President Ben Patterson became Chief Operating Officer). 

“Our strategic review confirmed a clear opportunity in the market for a truly neutral provider to meet the changing needs of creators and their partners,” said Downtown Founder and CEO Justin Kalifowitz, at the time. “This is further evidenced by the strong performance and scale of Downtown’s service platforms and the global trends driving growth in the music industry.” 

Downtown’s businesses manage more than 23 million music assets on behalf of more than 1 million creators and 2,500 enterprise clients. The company projects to generate over $600 million from its music services businesses for 2021. 

A rep at Downtown headquarters in New York confirms a “limited number of job functions have been deemed redundant” as part of the company’s strategic shift towards music services.