Willard Ahdritz - Kobalt Music Group

Tim Ingham & Willard Ahdritz in conversation

Founder, Kobalt Music Group

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Willard Ahdritz founded Kobalt in 2000 to create a more efficient, fair and transparent music industry for artists and songwriters. 

While most technology companies focused on digital music offerings for consumers, Willard believed that technology could also better serve content creators and copyright owners.

As a young Swedish tech entrepreneur in the late 90s, Willard watched the decline of the music industry with a vision for the critical role that technology could play.

Determined to find a solution, Willard founded Kobalt in 2000, focused on developing technology that provides artists, songwriters and copyright owners with the best service globally. Willard and his team grew Kobalt into the world’s largest independent music services company, with over 500 employees in offices around the world. Kobalt now represents over 25,000 songwriters, 600 publishers, and 20,000 independent artists, providing them with creative services, synch & brand partnerships, global licensing management, neighboring rights, works and rights distribution, royalty collection and processing, the Kobalt and AWAL Portals and Apps, YouTube monetization, record release management, digital distribution and marketing.

Willard’s has over 20+ years in global publishing experience as original co-founder of Telegram Records & Publishing, and 8 years experience of corporate strategy at L.E.K. Consulting. Willard holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Rudbecksskolan, Örebro), and Master of Science, Finance, Stockholm School of Economics, and NYU Stern Graduate Division, New York. NMPA Board Member, and RSA Fellow. Willard also served as Second-lieutenant, Swedish Army, Communication, Research & Development, S1 Enköping. Willard currently lives in New York with his family.

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