Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board of Directors who has made a significant contribution in furthering the ongoing mission of the organization and in elevating the Songwriters Hall of Fame to a level of prominence and distinction.” Only three other individuals have received this award, including lyricist and SHOF Chairman Emeritus Hal David, former BMI CEO Del Bryant and former ASCAP chief John A. Lofrumento.
Inductees at this year’s event include Dallas Austin, Missy Elliott, Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Jack Tempchin & Yusuf / Cat Stevens.
“The SHOF has long benefitted from Marty’s advice, guidance, wisdom and constant support,” said the organization’s president & CEO Linda Moran. “Always the consummate professional and avid songwriters’ champion, he has consistently encouraged us to raise the bar toward achieving our early goals and fulfilling our ongoing mission. It goes without saying that Marty has played a considerable role in the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s becoming one of the music industry’s most prestigious organizations. We are very pleased to acknowledge his contributions with the Visionary Leadership Award.”
Last year, Bandier announced that he will be stepping down from his post at the end of March, 2019, when his contract expires; Jon Platt, most recently chief of Warner/Chappell Publishing, will take his place. A veteran of the publishing business whose career stretches back to the early 1970s, Bandier is regarded (rightfully) as a titan of the sector. He started out as an attorney, then in 1975 began a long partnership with industry giant Charles Koppelman that culminated in the sale of their SBK label and publishing company to EMI for some $340 million in 1989. Bandier took the helm of EMI Music Publishing and turned the combined companies into an industry powerhouse that was frequently named Publisher of the Year and spawned some of the industry’s strongest executives, including Platt, Universal Music Publishing CEO Jody Gerson and president Evan Lamberg. He ran EMI from 1990 to 2005.
In 2007, Bandier left for Sony/ATV — and within five years had guided the consortium (led by private equity firm Mubadala) that purchased EMI Music Publishing for some $2.2 billion, including a large percentage for Sony/ATV that will become 100% via a recent separate deal that is pending regulatory approval. Sony’s purchase of 60% equity interest in EMI cost the company $2.3 billion and was put into motion in May. In July, Sony acquired the remaining 25.1% stake from the Estate of Michael Jackson for $287.5 million, making EMI a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.
Along the way, Bandier has not only built Sony/ATV into the world’s largest music publisher — it counts The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Sting, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder among the thousands of songwriters in its repertoire — he’s engineered some of the industry’s biggest deals, including EMI’s purchase of the Motown catalog and the Sony Corporation’s $750 million acquisition of half of Sony/ATV.
Sony/ATV was the No. 1 company on Billboard’s Publisher’s Quarterly chart for five straight years; from May 2017 until May 2018, it had a piece of each song that topped the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2006, Bandier founded a music and entertainment industry degree program at Syracuse University, appropriately named The Bandier Program for Music and Entertainment Industries; its first class graduated in 2011 and it has become a leading music-business program.