Sony/ATV Music Publishing
POWER MOVE: Orchestrated $2.2 billion deal that united Sony/ATV Music Publishing with EMI Music Publishing, turning the company into the No. 1 song publisher in the world.
THE RUNDOWN: It’s almost churlish to ask Marty Bandier about his biggest accomplishments in 2012. That’s because he had two game-changing moments last year that affected not only him and his business, but also all of music publishing. First, he achieved the once-unthinkable act of uniting Sony/ATV with EMI Music Publishing, the massive company he had built during his 17 years there. Second, Bandier pulled Sony/ATV’s catalog from ASCAP and BMI so it could negotiate better rates directly with digital music services like Pandora (parts of EMI’s catalog had already been pulled from the performing rights organizations).
Bandier’s $2.2 billion EMI deal, brokered by former Sony exec Rob Wiesenthal, was complex but smart, and saw Sony/ATV take administrative control of EMI to become the world’s No. 1 song publisher last June. “The good news is EMI is now back on track in terms of being a creative force after the uncertainty around its future for a couple of years,” he says. The impact is already being felt -- Sony/ATV was the top song publisher in third-quarter 2012, with 25.7% of the top 100 airplay songs, more than eight percentage points ahead of the next publisher. Billboard estimates the combined catalogs generate revenue of around $1.3 billion.
His Pandora move also had major implications. Bandier managed to achieve a 25% increase in royalty rates, to 5% of revenue, from the online radio service, and he’s likely to go after Spotify and others next. “The compulsory licenses were punitive and treated our songwriters like second-class citizens,” he says.