Downwrite Leans Into Publishing, Label Services With Eye On Disruption, Hires Music Industry Expert, Randy Sabiston

Downwrite, the pioneering collaborative songwriting experience, is today boosting its artists’ earning potential with new industry-disrupting splits and opening the door to exclusive co-ownership deals for commissioners using its platform to buy customized, original music.

Under refreshed terms, Downwrite artists will now receive no less than 80% of front-end commissions, and at least 75% on all back-end royalties and sync fees, from both the recording and the publishing.

Artists are also co-owners of their creations, giving them a lucrative, alternative way to make money. No other commissioning platform offers musicians and songwriters such generous rates, ensuring that Downwrite artists are rewarded properly for their talent and creativity.

The improved terms come at a significant moment in Downwrite’s expansion. Its relaunch this year debuted a host of new features and enhancements. And as the platform explores new financial models for the music industry, development is under way on other approaches that increase fan participation and connection with their favorite artists. Fan-funding models will launch in the coming months, including subscriptions, sponsorship, and crowd-sourced EPs and albums, with fans taking stakes in songs that could earn them a share of royalties.

This new focus on generating genuine commercial value for artists and fans will be spearheaded by Randy Sabiston, a long-time record industry executive known for discovering and developing an array of multi-platinum artists, songwriters, and musicians. Sabiston has been appointed Vice President of Label & Publishing Services. In his role, he will establish label distribution and music publishing administration partnerships.

He will also work closely with artists to create opportunities that elevate both the platform and its roster, which currently includes platinum-selling Michael Shynes, soaring pop-indie songwriter, Melody Federer, The Spill Canvas’ Nick Thomas, and The Flatliners’ Chris Cresswell.

Downwrite CEO Jake Morris said, “Downwrite not only wants to reinvent how music is made, but how artists are paid — and how their biggest fans can also be a part of their success. While these new splits are the most generous in the industry, they are just the beginning. Our vision is to offer Downwrite artists new streams of revenue and financial backing, and for commissioners to feel involved beyond the original song that they inspire. The investment opportunities we’re developing will give fans that unique creative and commercial interest. And we’re delighted that Randy has joined us. His passion and experience make him the perfect person to drive this approach.”

Sabiston’s 25-year career in the music industry has included leadership roles in music publishing, creative licensing, audio engineering, artist relations, and artist development. His positions at EMI, PolyGram, Warner/Chappell, Dimensional Music, and Epic Records have provided him with broad industry experience and an extensive network of collaborative contacts, including artists, managers, label executives, publishers, digital service providers, and attorneys. Sabiston is credited with developing artists including Gavin DeGraw, Lifehouse, The Lumineers, Quicksand, Shaggy, Chevelle, Sevendust, and Will Hoge.

On joining Downwrite, he said, “Downwrite’s values and vision are in sync with my own and I am eager to bring my experience and expertise to help grow the platform and the artists on it. Having spent a career spanning all facets of the music industry, I believe that our model is both attainable and sustainable — and I am determined to help make Downwrite a success by establishing and growing its label and publishing arm. I’m thrilled to join a team that, like me, is extremely passionate about what they do.”

Sabiston is a member of the National Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP). He and his family live in New York.

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