Sony/ATV Music Publishing has made an incredibly generous financial donation to organizations representing working songwriters: the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and Songwriters of North America (SONA). The two will split $500,000 and provide additional support to their constituents struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic and shifting needs in the music marketplace.
Both organizations will use the funds for grant-like disbursement, details of which will be released soon.
Bart Herbison and Michelle Lewis, executive directors of NSAI and SONA, respectively, credit Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Jon Platt for the gift. “[He] reached out to us and has been in dialogue with our groups over the past two weeks understanding the need for assistance to working songwriters, many whose livelihoods have been devastated due to effects of the coronavirus,” they said in a statement. “NSAI and SONA intend to reach out to other companies within and outside of the music industry, artists and individuals to also make contributions. Many American songwriters can sorely use the help right now.”
A year ago, the Sony/ATV chief distributed “a special one-time supplemental bonus to each member of the Sony/ATV team” following the close of the company’s $2.3 billion takeover of EMI Music Publishing in 2018, a process begun in 2012 when Sony/ATV acquired 30% of the company.
Said Platt at the time: “I believe it’s very important, and senior [Sony] management in Tokyo agrees, that all Sony/ATV employees should be rewarded for their contribution.”
Sony/ATV is home to more than three million copyrights including hits by Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, Ed Sheeran and Sia. Most recently, Beyonce and Rihanna joined the roster, following longtime advocate Platt.