Willard Ahdritz
Jon Moe

Kobalt Music


Founder / Chairman

If you want to test the merit of Kobalt’s once unique model — a publishing play promising transparency for artists and songwriters via tech solutions — just look at how many rights management companies are mimicking its business plan or the tech-driven services launched by established publishers and distributors. Ahdritz takes particular pride in having watched his startup, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, grow organically to the point where in 2020 it took home ASCAP pop publisher of the year. His $700 million company also commands a 19% market share in the U.S., second only to Sony/ATV Music Publishing. And that growth isn’t confined to North America, as a deal struck with Tencent Music in China will bolster Kobalt’s presence throughout Asia.


  • Kobalt Music
  • L.E.K. Consulting
  • Telegram Records


  • Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden)
  • New York University (NY, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2020 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Sony Music Acquires Kobalt’s Label and Neighboring Rights for $430 Million

Sony Music Acquires Kobalt’s Label and Neighboring Rights for $430 Million

Sony Music Entertainment announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Kobalt Music Group to acquire Kobalt’s recorded-music operations, including AWAL, and Kobalt Neighboring Rights. The acquisition, for $430 million according to the SEC filing, is subject to customary regulatory and closing conditions.AWAL and Neighbouring Rights will become a new division within SME’s suite of independent artist and label services offerings and will be enhanced by the technology and network of SME’s independent music distribution company, The Orchard, according...


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