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Marty Bandier confirms he will depart Sony/ATV

By | Published on Tuesday 18 September 2018


The boss of the world’s biggest music publisher, Sony/ATV, has confirmed he will depart the company next year when his current mega-bucks contract expires. The departure of Marty Bandier leaves the top job at the Sony publisher open for one of his former colleagues, Jon Platt, who last week announced he was leaving the CEO role at Warner/Chappell, and who is now widely tipped to take over at Sony/ATV next year.

In a memo to staff, Bandier wrote: “I want to let you know that I am planning to leave Sony/ATV at the end of my contract in March of next year, after what will have been twelve incredible years with the company. I can say without hesitation that my time here has been the absolute highlight of my career, and I am extremely proud of everything that we have achieved together”.

He went on: “On this journey, we have grown from being ranked the world’s fourth biggest music publisher to becoming the clear number one. As I have always said, being and staying number one is not a beauty contest, and we have grown into this position by being the best across the board – creatively, administratively and financially. This was underpinned by our most recent financial year, which was our best ever”.

Despite Bandier’s brags there, Sony mainly became number one through acquisition. And in particular the firm’s purchase of Bandier’s previous employer, EMI Music Publishing. Although Sony/ATV has administered the EMI songs catalogue since 2012, it actually co-owns those works with a number of other investors. However, regulator approval permitting, by the time Bandier departs next year, Sony could own the EMI catalogue outright, consolidating its position as the biggest songs company in the world.

Another big change on Bandier’s watch was Sony buying out its former business partner in the Sony/ATV business, that being the Michael Jackson estate. Assuming the current EMI deals go through, that will give Sony Corp complete control of its mega music publishing empire. That complete control might also allow the publishing side of Sony’s music operations to become more closely allied with the Sony Music record company, Sony Corp’s two global music firms having generally operated pretty autonomously from each other to date.

Following the brags with a little name-dropping, Bandier went on: “During my time here, I have had the pleasure to get to know and work with so many talented songwriters, including Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell, Pink, Sting, Carole King, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy and Sara Bareilles. The list could go on and on, but there are simply too many phenomenal writers to mention everyone by name. I am nonetheless proud to have advocated for all of them”.

Thanking the corporates as well as the creatives, he then said: “I would also like to thank Sony for giving me the opportunity to lead this company through the music industry’s complex and ever-changing landscape, and at a time when representing the rights of songwriters has never been more important and necessary. It has been incredibly satisfying to grow the company to be the leading music publisher in the world, and I am confident that Sony/ATV and its writers are set for even more successes in the future”.

Having then thanked all his lovely staff, the out-going Sony/ATV chief concluded: “I look forward to sharing what’s ahead for me with you soon, and I’ll be following all of your successes long after I have left”.